Monmouth Officers to Carry Tasers [AUDIO/VIDEO]
The department is the first in the county to carry the combination stun gun/taser that can be used to disable suspects at both close range and distance, delivering a high voltage shock on contact or through two barbed prongs that can be launched and will bury themselves into the skin of a suspect.
Monmouth County sheriff Shaun Golden said there are various instances when a taser can be used to deliver non-lethal force to help control a suspect.
"There are instances where we see someone who is irate maybe holding an object like a knife or a club," Golden said.
Eight officers have been trained and certified in use of four Taser Model X2 Conducted Energy devices. Golden says having another tool in an arsenal of non-lethal options like pepper spray, bean bag rounds and batons is useful, especially since the department operates in situations where non-lethal force is more practical.
"Such as courtrooms, for instance, and out with our warrant guys in and out of the county," Golden said.
The officers received training on the tasers in accordance with the policies of the attorney general. The policy stated that officers may only use "enhanced mechanical force" when they believe it would protect them or someone else from serious injury, or to protect someone from further injuring themselves.
Additionally, as per guidelines, the tasers are equipped with high definition video recorders that activate whenever the device is being used.
"The video works similar to the way we download car (video) and the cartridge itself becomes a chain of evidence," Golden said.
The sheriff said officers are responsible for submitting their own video from their tasers, only in situations where the devices were used. Taser weapons are still illegal for civilian use. Several other departments across the state have also equipped officers with tasers.