Hamilton County, Indiana Sheriff's Office Puts TASER Conducted Energy Weapons Back on the Streets After Presentation of Medical Safety Data
Sheriff previously suspended use based on the misleading TASER Safety Article in the New York Times
SCOTTSDALE, Az. - TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR), a market leader in advanced non-lethal weapons announced today that the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department in Indiana has lifted a suspension on the usage of TASER conducted energy weapons by Hamilton County Sheriff's personnel.
On Tuesday July 20, 2004, Sheriff Doug Carter placed a temporary suspension on the TASER X26 units based on the misinformation contained in the article by Alex Berenson printed in the New York Times on July 18, 2004. Sheriff Carter initially stated that the suspension would allow an opportunity to have questions "methodically answered" and to "put in place the appropriate measures to protect you, the offender, this office and our county."
As soon as TASER International was made aware of the Hamilton County suspension based on the New York Times article, President and co-founder Tom Smith traveled to Hamilton County to meet with Sheriff Carter and presented him with medical safety and medical study information on TASER conducted energy weapons. The information presented to Sheriff Carter was information that was previously sent to the New York Times, which was not included in Mr. Berenson's story on TASER safety.
"The article in the New York Times presented only part of the information of the information about this device," said Doug Carter, Hamilton County Sheriff. "When we received the rest of the story, we made an immediate decision to re-issue the TASERs. We firmly believe that these tools save lives," continued Sheriff Carter.
"We were immediately alarmed that a law enforcement agency would put officers and citizens in jeopardy by pulling the proven safest and most effective non-lethal technology available today from its first responders based on the misleading article published in the New York Times," said Tom Smith. "We were confident that once we were able to present our comprehensive medical safety data to Sheriff Carter, that he would re-issue TASER technology to his department. Sheriff Carter was simply looking for straight answers and medical facts in the interest of his agency and his community. We provided the facts to the matter at hand, provided independent medical testing and the result is that our TASER technology is back on the streets in Hamilton County to help serve and protect.
"We stand by and will immediately respond to any law enforcement agency with similar concerns. Furthermore, TASER International has set up a new TASER medical safety web link to address these matters at: www.taser.com/safety/safety/safety.html" concluded Mr. Smith.
More information on TASER International's response to the New York Times article is located on our home page at www.taser.com.
Below is the Hamilton Country press release from Sheriff Carter:
A Tradition of Service Since 1823
18100 Cumberland Road
Noblesville, Indiana 46060
Douglas G. Carter, Sheriff
July 22, 2004
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department today announced that Taser devices will be re-issued to officers with no changes in policy governing their use.
Since temporarily suspending use of the Taser on Tuesday, the department has obtained voluminous information regarding the devices' testing and actual field incidents. The information clearly shows that testing of the Taser exceeded that of many medical devices and that there is no indication that use of the Taser was the direct cause of any in-custody deaths.
"It is an unfortunate fact that police work involves physical risks to officers and offenders alike" Sheriff Carter said. "Our review of the available information makes us believe that availability of the Taser makes many confrontations less likely to involve death or injury to officers or offenders- not more likely."
The temporary suspension of the use of the Taser was in no way a result of doubts about the value of the Taser as a less lethal force option. Rather, the suspension allowed the department to determine if policy regarding the use of the device should be changed in any way.
"The article in the New York Times presented only part of the information about this device. When we received the rest of the story, we made an immediate decision to re-issue the Tasers" Sheriff Carter said. "We firmly believe these tools save lives".
About TASER International, Inc.
TASER International, Inc. provides advanced non-lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security, and personal defense markets. Its flagship ADVANCED TASER® M26 product uses proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects that may be impervious to other non-lethal means. Its latest product, the TASER X26 is 60% smaller and lighter than the ADVANCED TASER M26 and reduces injury rates to suspects and officers, thereby lowering liability risk and improving officer safety. TASER® technology is currently in testing or deployment at over 5,400 law enforcement and correctional agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Call 480-991-0797 or visit our website at www.TASER.com to learn more about the new standard in non-lethal weapons.