Tasers Return to Metro Officers - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tasers Return to Metro Officers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police officers are once again equipped with Taser guns.

This summer, the police academy trained nearly 500 officers in how to use the firearms.

Now, the weapons are back in the holsters of Metro Police officers. The device fires electrified darts to immobilize a person.

"The Taser can be used like this without a cartridge and when we put the cartridge in if I were to depress the trigger it will deploy those two probes," said an officer.

The police department had the devices for several years. But, after an incident in 2005, only sergeants carried the guns.

In one case, a Nashville family sued the city after a suspect died after police stunned and immobilized him with the Taser.

The medical examiner ruled his death was not caused by the Taser.

After nearly two and a half years of research and study, Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas decided to redeploy the weapon.

Officers will use guns equipped with tiny cameras and microphones that records audio and video.

Now, police will have recorded evidence of an encounter between a suspect and the arresting officers.

"When you get the shot standing your body starts to do this because all of your muscles tighten and your brain is going, "I need to put my foot back, but your body can't because your muscles are tensed up," said Metro officer Russell Ward.

Two probes send 12,000 volts of electricity through the body. The jolt lasts about five seconds. The probes enter just under the skin about a quarter of an inch.

Serpas said using the Taser will reduce injuries to police officers and suspects alike. He said over the last two years more than 250 suspects. Nearly the same number of police officers has been hurt in confrontations.

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