New stun guns added to Hampton police arsenal
By a vote of Hampton Council, the township plans to spend $9,683 for 10 new Taser X26P stun guns, battery packs and holsters, so that all officers in Hampton Police Department can carry and maintain their own Taser weapons.
“It should save on the wear and tear of the units,” Hampton township manager Chris Lochner said.
Hampton police officers now share nine of the devices, originally purchased years ago.
“We've probably only used them a few times in the years that we've had them,” Hampton police Chief Mike Pecora said.
Taser devices shoot darts with electrodes that shock a person and immobilize the his muscles.
Hampton's new Taser X26P stun guns are bright yellow and black.
“With the purchase of the new Tasers, each officer will be responsible for his own Taser unit,” Hampton police Sgt. Tom Vulakovich said. “They will be exposed to less usage, thus extending the life and integrity of the Taser unit.
“Currently, the Taser units are rotated through officers during each shift and are exposed to the elements and normal wear and tear 24 hours a day,” Vulakovich said.
“The Taser unit will only be deployed when either an officer's or citizen's safety is threatened, and that level of force is authorized by law,” Vulakovich said. “In 2013, only one Taser was deployed.”
Vulakovich likened Taser devices to the firearms, radios and handcuffs assigned to all officers.
“These items are part of their uniform and are vital pieces of equipment, enabling them to carry out their duties,” Vulakovich said.
Pecora said police officers generally use devices as needed.
“Obviously, if you don't have to shoot someone with a bullet, the Taser is the next best thing,” Pecora said. “You use the least amount of force, and you go up the continuum, based on what the situation dictates.”
Equipping officers with their own Taser devices is a trend among local law-enforcement agencies, Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said.
“When you pass around a device for three shifts, it gets dinged up,” Tuttle said. “The maintenance goes bad.”
Hampton's new Taser X26P units were introduced last year and replaced the Taser X26, introduced in 2003. “It's all digital,” Tuttle said about the Taser X26P. “It's a safer product. It's a better product.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.