"The idea behind getting the taser was to give us options that would stop the escalation of force," says DEP Robert Sisinger with LCSO.
Leon County sheriff's deputies have been using tasers for more than a year.
Sheriff Larry Campbell has almost 100 percent of his deputies armed with what he also calls a non-lethal weapon.
"I think it's working real well, and law-abiding citizens for the most part don't have any concern about it because they're not going to get shot with one of them. The criminal element are much aware that they're out there."
Rob Reisinger, Leon County Sheriff's Office trainer, says, "They've been so effective that we've been able to see a decrease in officer injuries by 65 percent."
Despite the accolades for the taser from some law enforcement agencies, Sheriff Larry Campbell says, "The controversy in some circles continues. Are they some type of terrible weapon? As you and I did one morning, we got shot with them to show the public that if we thought it was going to kill us, we wouldn't let it happen."
Sheriff Campbell is talking about last July when he and I took hits with the taser. Campbell's attempts to prove to the general public that it's a non-lethal weapon may be working.
WCTV found more people in favor of the taser than opposed.
Pamela Wilson, pro-taser, says, "Well, I feel that taser guns should be legal because as far as brute force is concerned, you know, actually shooting someone, I feel it's a lot better to just rendering them un-mobile for the moment versus actually hurting them."
Hazem Tamimi, pro-taser, says, "I think they can be necessary if they are used in the right way."
Chris Gantt, also pro-taser, adds, "I agree that they should have them. I think they're a nice alternative to guns."
Rob Reisinger says, "We had 165 incidents where we use it. We define as usage is anytime we pull it out and aim it at somebody."
Sixty eight times just showing the taser gun was enough; 72 times the probes were shot; and 25 times direct contact was made. One deputy was injured, and five subjects.
Sheriff Campbell says he stands by his decision to bring in the taser. He says if there was proof that they are deadly, he would reconsider.
"I'd rather get shot with a taser or sprayed with pepper spray then I would get hit with a night stick or shot with a pistol. The more they limit our ability to use non-deadly force, the more deadly force becomes a reality."
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