Port Wentworth Police Taser Training - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/11/05

Port Wentworth Police Taser Training

Police in Port Wentworth are now arming themselves with Tasers. Even though they are controversial in some communities, this Chatham County town stands by them.

Police are Taser training, first using metal targets. But before the officers can carry them on patrol, they have to experience firsthand what's it like to be Tasered.

Twelve officers participated today. The Tasers pack quiet a punch.

"It hurt, that's all I can say, it hurt," said Officer Sarah Lane.

Port Wentworth police like them because they say they are less lethal than guns, and more effective than pepper spray or a baton.

"It stops them right there," said Lane.

Once the metal prongs hit a bad guy's skin, it sends a strong electric current through his entire body. "It's overloading their senses, they are tightening up," explained Sgt. Matt Libby. "It's stopping any physical confrontation that might occur."

Police say they are effective in breaking up fights or disarming an attacker. The Tasers cost about $900 each. Port Wentworth police raised the money though the community--the people they are sworn to serve and protect--to pay for them.

And since Tasers can be controversial, police say it's nice knowing the community is behind them.

Port Wentworth police aren't the only ones in Chatham County who have Tasers. Garden City police and the sheriff's department also have them.

Savannah-Chatham police would like to get Tasers. They are waiting for city council approval and then they have to find a way to pay for some 570 of them--at $900 a pop.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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