Mills County deputies began carrying Tasers last month, but not before they experienced first-hand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a jolt from one of the electronic control devices.
The deputies took turns at being Tasered during a training session inside the Glenwood Wrestling Building. Mills County Sheriff Gene Goos said the exercise is a requirement for all law enforcement officers who carry a Taser.
Basically, it’s so they know what it feels like when they Tase somebody,” Goos said. “They’ll know what to expect from the suspect and what the suspect is feeling. They feel the pain.”
Chief Deputy Bruce Paulsen was one of the first deputies to take a full-impact shot from the Taser. Paulsen let out a painful yell before collapsing to the ground.
“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Paulsen said.
Goos said the Tasers were acquired as a means of ensuring officer safety and reducing the risk of serious injury to combative suspects that resist arrest or apprehension.
“The Taser may be used when a suspect is displaying active aggressive resistance to an attempt to conduct lawful law enforcement duties,” Goos said. “The Taser is an electronic control device that functions by impeding the body’s ability to communicate messages from the brain to the muscles, temporarily affecting the motor nervous system.”
Goos said he isn’t sure how many sheriff’s offices across the state are utilizing Tasers, but the devices are becoming standard issue for many law enforcement agencies. The Glenwood Police Department has been equipping its officers with Tasers for several years now.
“I’ve talked to (chief) John O’Connor and his comments have been very favorable,” Goos said.
The Tasers carry a price tag of more than $800 each. They were purchased with the help of a donation from Steve Konfrst Trash Service and drug arrest forfeiture money.