Tasers replace Wild West-style defense | NevadaAppeal.com

Tasers replace Wild West-style defense

f.T. Norton

Some Carson City deputies will carry smaller Tasers thanks to donations from the community, Sheriff Ken Furlong said.

The newer Tasers, model X26, are 60 percent smaller than the older version, M26, and are carried on the deputy’s utility belt rather than in a thigh-holster.

“It’s just a more professional look and less intimidating” said Furlong. “They’re great on the image.”

Deputies can shoot probed spikes with 50,000 volts of electricity as far as 21 feet at someone they are trying to subdue.

When introduced into the body, the probes deliver shocks in five-second bursts, locking up muscles and incapacitating the subject.

Furlong said the nonlethal weapon is a safer option for police and can replace officers’ use of batons.

“The baton has outlived its usefulness in law enforcement,” he said.

Eventually, Furlong hopes to acquire enough money to equip each of the department’s 40 patrol officers with a Taser. Presently, there are only eight Tasers available for patrol officers, two of which are the smaller version.

At a cost of $800 each, Tasers are expensive, but well worth it, said Deputy Brian Mays.

“This is a more versatile and less-damaging tool,” he said.

Deputy Brian Humphrey said the older model, which he still carries, is a thigh-holstered weapon that makes the task of getting in and out of a vehicle cumbersome, let alone running after a suspect.

“The new ones are a lot smaller, a lot easier to handle. With this one,” he said, pointing to the M26 strapped to his thigh, “people think we are carrying multiple weapons.”

Humphrey, who works in schools, said he won’t wear it when he goes into campus buildings.

The M26 Tasers, which the department first acquired about two years ago, have a trade-in value of $200.

The first newer model was purchased with an $800 donation made by a member of the first Citizens Academy offered by the department.

Furlong said he’s asked city’s leaders for money to purchase more.

‘Our priority right now is to rotate the older weapons out,” he said. “We like the newer model, and it doesn’t look like some Wild West gun on someone’s thigh.”

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.