Probation department adding more Tasers

Dec 9, 2019

Tasers are a tool for Erie County's probation officers who, right now, have seven available to officers who carry hand weapons. The county is now in the process of purchasing more.

Probation Commissioner Brian McLaughlin says Tasers are an alternative to the deadly force of a gun.

"We train so that when the instant does come up, you're ready. You don't have to stop and think or try to figure it out," McLaughlin said.

There have been only two uses of the Taser and McLaughlin says they were "real fights where the preference was to take him out with a Taser instead of taking a chance on escalating up to a weapon getting involved or somebody getting seriously hurt."

Those officers who have the option for a Taser are required to take a day-and-a-half of training to start and an annual two-hour recertification.