JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff’s Department has been testing a new taser for deputies.
“With any technology, as it progresses, you know, it starts to have problems and malfunctions and things like that and that’s why we’re continuously trying to upgrade and not only make it safer for us but make it safer for the suspects as well,” Sgt. Jake Driskell said.
Driskell says the Laser 7 is more effective, has dual lasers and reduces aiming issues, which in turn, decreases the need to fire additional cartridges.
“This taser will give you the option of having a top dart and a bottom dart laser to indicate where you’re going to hit,” Driskell said.
For the past month, deputies and correctional officers have been testing the new taser on themselves.
“The last two classes that we taught down here at the training center, every participant in that class took the darts to the back,” Sheriff Joe Berlin said.
“Every officer at the sheriff’s department by policy goes through an exposure so that we know exactly what’s happening and how to overcome it and be able to assure the violator that they’re okay,” Driskell said.
While tasers may carry a negative stigma, Berlin says the less-lethal weapon helps to de-escalate dangerous situations.
“It cuts down on officer injuries, it cuts down on suspect injuries and we use it to keep from putting our hands on them to not only keep from hurting ourselves but to keep from hurting the suspect also,” Berlin said.
Berlin says the department will likely purchase 20 new tasers within the next six months.