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Old 08-04-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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The Portland Police Department was recently approved to purchase a number of tasers to be issued to their officers. The numbers floated on the news and newspaper was something like $12,000 per unit. That seems steep though I suppose there is support, training, and some sort of replacement after the unit is fired. I'll be frank I don't like the idea of tasers. I believe they tend to make the police adopt a "shoot first" mentality. They can be used to diffuse a touchy ,potentially violent situation if used properly. Recent Youtube clips of an 85 yr old woman being tased after a traffic stop give me pause to wonder about the need for them. As always I'm interested in your take.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Maine
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$12,000? Really??? I find that hard to believe. You can get a top of the line Taser for $500.

If the police have a "shoot first" mentality (and I'm doubtful of that as well) I'd rather them be shooting tasers than Glocks. If I remember correctly, the old lady whom police Tasered was in Chicago. Maine police don't exactly have a reputation for over-reacting violently. Portland isn't Mayberry, but it isn't an episode of The Shield either.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
$12,000? Really??? I find that hard to believe. You can get a top of the line Taser for $500.

If the police have a "shoot first" mentality (and I'm doubtful of that as well) I'd rather them be shooting tasers than Glocks. If I remember correctly, the old lady whom police Tasered was in Chicago. Maine police don't exactly have a reputation for over-reacting violently. Portland isn't Mayberry, but it isn't an episode of The Shield either.
I certainly agree with that sentiment though I'd much rather they didn't feel it necessary to shoot the citizenry with anything. $12,000 was the price per unit quoted on WGAN news. It does seem high though there must be some support with that price tag and replacement of spent launchers. They just came out with a three shot version of the taser last week. I don't know if those were the ones Portland was getting or just the singles. I'm not a taser fan and think they should be banned altogether. What's wrong with pepper spray, mace or good old teargas? Shocking someone is cruel at the very least and could kill someone with a weak heart. Even dog owners hesitate to use shock collars on their animals as it really does hurt them. I think people deserve at least the same treatment as dogs.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
What's wrong with pepper spray, mace or good old teargas?
Depends on the situation. Those three certainly hurt, but they don't immediately incapacitate a target. A taser does.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
Shocking someone is cruel at the very least and could kill someone with a weak heart.
Well, to be fair, so could tear gas.

If the issue is justifiable use of force by the police, then their chosen weapon is really a moot point. Any weapon can be misused, be it a firearm, a taser, tear gas, or a broad sword.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
Even dog owners hesitate to use shock collars on their animals as it really does hurt them. I think people deserve at least the same treatment as dogs.
If a vicious dog were attacking me or my family, I'd have no compunction about tasering the pooch.

But to get back to the original point: Is giving tasers to police a good idea? Not if they cost $12,000. That's ridiculous.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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You make good points Mark S and I can't argue against them at all. I suppose there will be people like myself who balk at any new means of restraint or control as we see it as wholly unnecessary. I'm sure every device used has it's detractors. It seems to me as crime rates overall have fallen in Maine there would be less need for something like tasers especially in light of the fact there are already many more affordable options available. If they're going to give tasers out to police let's hope they use them as little as possible and with a modicum of restraint.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: portland, me
810 posts, read 1,998,681 times
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I wasn't going to comment on this post, but have since changed my mind do to the 'remembrance ring' that is still on Weymouth St. I don't live to far from there. Several months ago a man was shot by the Portland Police because he had a gun. Obviously, controversy immediately arose after the incident. Now if the police had tasers, this whole thing could have been avoided.

I'm not pro or anti gun/taser, but I do feel that the tasers could help eliminate some of the 'politics' that come with drawing a gun. I do hope that the police will use the tasers like their guns. Only as a last resort. I don't have issue with people getting shot, taken down, or whatever if it is warranted, but I heard the gun shots that night the man was shot. I can only imagine what it was like for his family (who live in the same area) to hear it, and possibly witness it.

That said, has anybody heard about the off road Segways the Police tried out? They are around 7 grand apiece, and are uber quiet. They are perfect for sneaking around very quickly. I think they are a great idea, but cops sneaking up on me does bother me a little bit.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Topsham police are getting tasers:

The Times Record > News > Topsham targets Tasers, trail (http://www.timesrecord.com/articles/2009/08/12/news/doc4a82fcbb26d76691316103.txt - broken link)
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Saco, ME
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I think the police having tasers is an excellent idea. I wonder, like dubthang I think also wonders, if the tragic shooting of that man by police recently could have been avoided if they had tasers.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:17 AM
 
8,767 posts, read 16,963,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
Topsham police are getting tasers:

The Times Record > News > Topsham targets Tasers, trail (http://www.timesrecord.com/articles/2009/08/12/news/doc4a82fcbb26d76691316103.txt - broken link)
Wonder why Topsham bought three at a total of $4,800 and Portland is spending $12,000 per unit? This had to be an incorrect figure!
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Maine
18,666 posts, read 22,421,706 times
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Apparently Brunswick police already have tasers. There was an article in the paper a day or two ago where officers had to tase someone. Judging from the article, it sounds as if the guy had it coming.
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