Study Shows Tasers are Effective and Safe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Study Shows Tasers are Effective and Safe

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TRI-CITIES, Wash.--The question was do tasers kill? A new study out of Seattle indicates that the device is safe for trained personnel like law enforcement to use.

Out of 962 incidents involving tasers, 99.7% of the time the results were either minor or no injury to the suspect. The Washington State Patrol prefers tasers over pepper spray.

"There are no lasting effects of this tool," says Sgt. Zach Elmore, Washington State Patrol. Now opposed to, if I was to use OC-10(pepper spray) or spray somebody with oleo resin capsicum , that lasts for 20-30 minutes."

West Richland police officers have carried the non-lethal weapon for more than a year. In that time, Officer Brian Galusha has used his taser three times. Galusha says the instrument is really effective in getting people to obey orders. But it also prevents the officer from getting hurt.

"Regardless to the persons size or mental condition, their gonna go down once they received good contact," admits Galusha. And that gives us the time to get in there, get some handcuffs on 'em, take the person into custody without any further injury to them or to ourselves."

"The design of the tool is to make it so there aren't injuries," says Sgt. Elmore.