Sheriff hopes to buy 12 Tasers
May 21, 2009
The Grand County Sheriff’s Department hopes to apply for a federal grant that would buy 12 Tasers.
The department has informed Grand County commissioners of its intentions. Commissioners are scheduled to consider the matter early next month.
According to the grant application narrative, no matching funds would be necessary to obtain the $15,121 grant.
The grant would pay for the purchase of 12 Tasers with holsters at $875 apiece, Taser software ($175), 48 single-shot Taser cartridges ($20 each) for training, 48 Taser XP single-shot cartridges ($25 each) for field use, and 36 simulation Taser cartridges ($20 each) for training use. In addition, it would cover $2,166 in overtime costs needed for training.
The narrative says Tasers have been a topic of discussion in the department and within the community for some time, as officers have wanted an effective, non-lethal alternative to use during confrontations.
“There have been many instances over the years where a deputy has said that they wished that they had a Taser to help deal with a situation instead of having to wrestle with that person,” the narrative states. “This is especially true with the amount of distance and or time that a deputy could possibly be waiting for back-up while they are engaged with a person.”
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Sheriff Rod Johnson said the department at one time bought some used Tasers.
“We’ve been struggling with it, because they got kind of expensive,” he said of the desire to replace the older units, which had fallen into disuse because of maintenance issues and costs.
The newer Tasers are more reliable, he said, and can be very useful.
“They’re a tool that falls somewhere between verbal compliance and the use of deadly force,” he said.
The grant application says eight of the Tasers would be used by officers in the field, two would be reserved for use in the jail, and one each would be available for use by the department’s two sergeants and by investigations officers.
The money would come from a portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill, that is dedicated to rural law enforcement funding, Johnson said.