Taser Guns in the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Taser Guns in the Tri-Cities

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - West Richland Police used a taser gun on a suspect Friday night.

Police said they like having access to tasers because do not have to go hands on with suspects.

Authorities also said the number of police injured on the job has gone down since they started carrying the taser guns.

The incident Friday night started when police said they received disturbance calls about 49-year-old Harry Turner.

Police said they approached him and he refused to listen.  Police said he then threw a fist full of coins at an officer. 

West Richland Police Chief Layne Erdman said, "At this point his committed to a felony assault on a police officer.  They can use some device to gain control or they can go hands on.  The individual is already willing to fight and he's not going to be compliant."

Erdman said his department has been using taser guns for three years and said it has made their job much safer.  He said, "get them in handcuffs and then we can gain control and have less injuries in the situation."

Erdman said when someone is tased their muscles tense and they lose the ability to control them.

Other local police agencies in the Tri-Cities have looked into getting tasers but many report that their officers are currently equipped with enough tools.

Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb said, "Is it the appropriate technology to meet the needs of the officers on the street of Richland? That is what we are looking at now."

Some Tri-Cities Police Departments said that when investing in new technology they have to consider budget, public reaction and training the officers.

Cobb said, "There's a lot more than, will it fit on your belt or not."

There are some human rights groups across the nation that do not approve of the taser gun.