State Troopers To Carry Stun Guns - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

State Troopers To Carry Stun Guns

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By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell 

 

After one year of deliberation, ECD's, or Electronic Control Devices, also known as tasers or stun guns, will be at the hip of Iowa State Patrol troopers and other state officials.

"I'm not sure if all state troopers will be carrying them or the road troopers. We have headquarters staff too, so I'm not sure if they'll be carrying them," said Sergeant Scott Bright.

Troopers, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and other intelligence bureau officers could be carrying the weapon as soon as July 1st of 2014.

They're still deciding what type to use, but they'll give troopers another option out in the field.

"You might be dealing with a combative person that's not listening to your commands and that gives us another tool on our duty belts to be able to not escalate to deadly force. Deadly force is the last thing we want to do. If we can take steps before we reach deadly force in a situation, that's what we want to do," said Sgt. Bright.

There will be extensive training on how to use them properly and what situations call for the use.  

"Initially, once they receive them, the officers will go through eight hours of training and then each year, during our use-of-force training, we'll have an additional four hours every year. It's definitely something we'll train on," said Sgt. Bright.

Sgt. Bright said it's all still in the preliminary planning stages.

"It's another tool that gives an officer another option. It's a less lethal option and that's why we're looking at it, to protect the people we're dealing with and protect the officers," said Sgt. Bright.

The legislation budgeted $1 million for the new devices.  

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