Taser offers police 'intermediate solution' to subduing offenders

Each Oklahoma City police officer goes through a 10-hour Taser course every year.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Modified: October 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm •  Published: October 21, 2012

For a Taser to be most effective, officers practice a technique called “splitting the belt line.” The officer aims for one side of the body and attempts to get both probes to stick into the aggressor, one above and the other below the waistline, Webster said.

The technique is practiced both on a stationary silhouette and on a police officer wearing a shockproof suit and helmet who acts as a moving target.

“It's more than just shooting a static target or something that's just simply laying there. The officer really has to begin to think, they have to watch their distances,” Webster said.

When the officer portraying the offender is hit with the barbs during the exercise, he feigns the muscle contractions while another officer rushes in to subdue him.

The current automatically stops after five seconds, or may be stopped by the officer at any time by flipping a switch.

“We don't want the officers to stand there and watch,” Webster said. “We want the officers to move in, get him handcuffed and secured during that cycle.”

Each Oklahoma City police officer goes through a 10-hour Taser course every year.

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