Officers undergo taser training

Officers undergo taser training
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Lawton, Cameron and Elgin Police Officers attended their annual taser refresher course at Great Plains Technology center Wednesday.

This training happened numerous times in the past month so officers of all shifts could attend. Wednesday morning started out with officers attending a class and taking a test to prove they retained the knowledge needed. Once they passed their tests, they got their tasers out and practiced their techniques.

Because this was training and a demonstration of what happens when someone gets tased they used small metal clips on 7NEWS Reporter Haley Wilson instead of darting Wilson with the taser, which is what they do on the streets.

Detective Rick McCollister explained the process that took place.

"We're going to spotters that are going to support her whenever she gets tased," McCollister said. "We'll do so she is not injured whenever the tase starts"

Captain Alvin Winham said by using the taser the body reacts in a way that helps officers handcuff the suspect who is resisting.

"What we're looking for is what we call NMI, it's a muscular incapacitation," Winham said. "So, it's going to lock up the scale of the muscles basically lock shift to where you can't function your arms won't be able to move and it's going to completely lock you up to where we can try to get control of you where we can get you cuffed."

McCollister: "How do you feel right now? 'Cause I'm going to ask you in about 10 minutes. Painful?"
Wilson: "Yeah I can feel where it was."
McCollister: "Do you think you could have gone for a gun, gone for a knife? Fought anybody?"
Haley: "No, I was frozen."
McCollister: "And that's the idea, behind the taser, is to incapacitate that person long enough that we can go ahead and take them into custody."

While all the officers have been through a day long taser course, Captain Alvin Winham said they still have to have annual refresher courses.

"They'll still go through the fundamentals how the taser works," Winham said. "How the cartridges work what the deployment is, what is going to work, but also any type of new stuff that is going on."

One thing they focused on was an incident that happened in Tulsa where an officer pulled his gun instead of his taser, and shot a suspect to death.  Winham said Lawton Police have a policy in place designed to prevent that from ever happening here.

"We are required to carry what we call our support side so when I carry a taser on my duty belt," Winham said. "It has to be on left side because I'm right handed. So you're left hand is on the opposite side so that way I'm not going to get them mixed up. I know that if I grab something on my left side it's going to be my taser...never carry it on my same side so I don't get it confused."

Tasers are something Lawton Police Officers have only had since 2005 but since they've been using it,  Sgt. Robert Witten said it makes him and other officers feel safer.

"Less officer injuries," Witten said. "Less injuries on the assailants. Before you either had to go hands on, use your night stick or mace and this is lot less painful and lot less injuries to both parties."

Police said once someone has been tased they don't want to get tased again so they are more compliant the next time they have a run in with the law. They said if they are okay with getting tased again they are normally drunk or high.

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