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250 Tasers headed to Manchester police department
MANCHESTER —— City police officers will soon be equipped with the newest version of the Taser.
The Police Department has ordered 250 of the devices, which deliver a 5,000-volt shock that temporarily disrupts the brain's ability to control muscles.
Manchester Police Chief David Mara, who has been trying to get Tasers for his officers for more than a year, called the devices a “much-needed officer safety tool,” in a statement released by the manufacturer, Taser International Inc.
Mara and Mayor Ted Gatsas had expected to buy Tasers with federal money more than a year ago, but Congress wiped out the funding mechanism the city would have used, forcing the city to find another way to pay for the weapons.
Members of the Manchester Police Patrolmen's Association have been advocates of putting Tasers in the hands of officers on the streets.
After police Officer Dan Doherty was shot and seriously wounded March 21, union president David Connare said Doherty could have used the weapon to subdue the man accused of firing 15 shots at him during a chase, Myles Webster of Litchfield.
“It may have prevented this from ever happening,” Connare said after the shooting.
Mara has said that by making it faster and easier to subdue an unruly subject, the Taser device can prevent injuries to both police officers and suspects.
The model being purchased for Manchester is touted as having the ability to incapacitate a person for 30 seconds when deployed from a distance of 15 feet.
The manufacturer claims the 5,000 volts delivered by a Taser are not life-threatening because the electric current is applied for about one-tenth of the duration of a routine static electricity shot.
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