Gift of Tasers Gives AV Deputies a Boost

By: Claudia Lopez

LANCASTER - Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies from Lancaster and Palmdale welcomed the arrival of 50 new Taser stun guns, which mean more deputies will be able to carry them on patrol.

The Tasers were financed by a $50,000 grant from Antelope Valley Sheriff's Boosters Club and Waste Management.

"The great thing about these tools is that they should result in a lower occasion of significant force and lower occasion of injury to both the suspects and deputies," said Capt. Pat Nelson, who is the commander of the Lancaster Sheriff's Station.

"We are looking forward to getting them to deploy so that anyone at our station who wants to begin his shift with a Taser can do so," Nelson continued.

Ten of the Tasers will go to the Palmdale Sheriff's Station and 40 will go to Lancaster, officials said.

Some of the Tasers will be assigned to deputies who are going out on patrol, and others will go out to shift leaders, Neslon said.

"These tools are very vital for deputies to be able to reduce injuries, reduce the use of deadly force," Palmdale Sheriff's Station commander Capt. Don Ford said.

A Taser is meant to jolt primary muscles for three seconds to temporarily incapacitate the person on whom it is being used, officials say.

Lancaster City Councilman Marvin Crist, the Antelope Valley Sheriff's Boosters president, credited the generosity of Antelope Valley residents and businesspeople.

"We have a great community," Crist said.

"Palmdale, Lancaster and the outreaching communities enabled us to buy these. If we didn't have such a generous community, we wouldn't be able to support the community and our law enforcement officers.

"It's very important that, because we ask a lot of our officers, to give them all the tools necessary for those that carry out their jobs and to protect the citizens. So I'd like to thank the Sheriff's Department for what they do for our community."

The new Tasers are slightly different from older models.

They are smaller and lighter, but the power is the same. The new models can also show how many times they were discharged.

Each Taser cost about $1,000, Lancaster Sheriff Station spokesman Mike Rust said.

"They're not cheap," Rust said.

Story courtesy of AV Press