Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A shocking story

A cheap pun, I know, but how often do you get to report on police purchasing stun guns for the whole department? In Stowe, not very often.

In this week's Stowe Reporter I have a story on police getting four more Tasers, a particular brand of stun gun. Now, the department will have 14 in all.

After filing my story I took a trip down to the station off South Main Street for picture of the Taser and Officer Chris McHugh, who gave an electrifying demonstration. You gotta be careful with these things. Turns out most officers who used the stun guns take a zap themselves so they know just what they're dishing out. It's great way to freeze unruly people in their tracks if they attack officers or resist arrest, police say.

Still, there's controversy surrounding the use of Tasers. Some news reports, such as from CBS News two years ago, investigates the "Taser danger," concluding that 70 people at the time had died after being "TASERed." The company Taser "asserts every one of these victims died of something else," while critics think "the company has not done enough research to know that with certainty."

A similar debate went on years ago when mace spray was introduced, McHugh told me this morning, and he thinks this controversy, too, will fizzle eventually.

So far, Stowe police say they've TASERed three people.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Concerned Citizen said...

I can't believe they actually got the 4 Taser guns. Seriously think about it... in the past year how many serious crimes have been commited in Stowe? How many Stowe police officers have faced bodily injury while attempting to make an arrest? I have a feeling that most Stowe citizens like myself fine Taser guns unneccessary.

7/27/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said...

Dear concerned citizen,

Question for you: Have you contacted Stowe Police to ask them about the Taser guns? I know it might seem intimidating, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind explaining some of the questions you ask. They can be reached at 253-7126.
I guess I could take a stab at some of your questions based on what I know:
In the past year how many serious crimes have been commited in Stowe?
I guess that depends on what you mean by "serious crimes." Stowe police say they've used the Tasers three times since they first got them in the last year. In each of those incidents, the person who was stunned was either about harm an officer or themself.
How many Stowe police officers have faced bodily injury while attempting to make an arrest?
I couldn't tell you, but it definitely happens, from what I've heard. I can remember writing a story back in May in which an intoxicated woman kicked, scratched and spit at two Stowe police officers when they approached her.

7/27/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Buy Vermont First"! Taser uses capacitors from SB Electronics in Barre...

7/28/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said...

Cool. Thanks for the tidbit "anonymous."
Anyone interested, go here for info. I wonder if "anonymous" works for SB Electronics?

7/28/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I once worked for one of SB's vendors, and I have been in their plant... a very funky place. It's very hard to be a manufacturer in Vermont these days so props to them.

7/30/2006 09:42:00 PM  
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8/04/2006 11:24:00 AM  
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8/10/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Monroe said...

Thanks anonymous. Are you a lawyer by chance?

8/11/2006 10:22:00 AM  
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8/16/2006 02:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to know how dangerous it is being a police officer in any town...why don't you try it? I know of many instances in Stowe and other small towns where police have been punched in the face threatened with weapons and intimidated by large Jock style creatures moving in packs. Most are drunk & hammered & on vacation. I'd rather they tased them than well.. you know.

What the heck do you want a bunch of Barney's from Mayberry out there?

Cop's need to be tough and take charge...nerver let their guard down. It doesn't mean they have to be mean...just firm and confident they can control the situation.

By the way ever see a cop drag a child out of a burning car, or peel a drunk driver off a tree, or respond to husband beating...wife beating. Can't you see it is actually a step in a better direction? Plus the taser is actually a deterent as the potential offender knows they may get it. But chances are...they know they won't get shot.

You see lady...If police could shoot everyone who was a flippin' jerk...there'd be fewer flippin' jerks.

Most cops start their career wanting to help and assist people...be a good cop. Then they are spat on for the first time...or a woman slaps them, finally they get clocked in the head breakin' up a bar room brawl or stared down by every puke kid who thinks he's tough. Next they pull over a wreckless speeder and find they are wanted in 3 states for drug crimes...just happened to be passing thru...what happens next?

Would you like to do that? Would you like to be in charge of the weapons they need? How would you plan your conclusions? Let me guess...naaa. Well you just better be nice to the police and encourage them and support them...huh. Gig

8/30/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. every day people just don't get it. Like in Iraq, people think if we just drop our guard and weapons and hug the people of the world who hate us, then they will suddenly like us?

Wrong. They want what we have. Everything! And they don't want to work for it. Like any desperate criminal they are armed and dangerous. So we should arm our police locally, as well as our brave soldiers in the war zones of the world.

Sammy Hicks

9/04/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger stoweyaknow said...

Our police do a great job. Those that are complaining
about the police having tazers don't know what they are
faced with on a daily basis. Would they rather the police
use their handgun?
The police are our protectors in the community. They deal with people like professionals even when certain people act like jerks.
In my book if they feel a need to have to use a tazer in a threatening or other situation, GO FOR IT.

9/26/2006 10:01:00 PM  
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