Relay for Life
Alumni Interviews--Where Are They Now?
Tasers in the Police Force
May 12, 2011By Nathan Hann of Centralia High School Activities
Tasers are an important topic in the world today in the police force, in school, in the streets, in clubs, and many other places. Many points are brought up when people talk about tasers: Are they good, bad, harmful? Do they help or hurt the community?
First off, what is a Taser? According to dictionary.com, a Taser is a brand name for a gunlike device that uses propelled wires or direct contact to electrically stun and incapacitate a person temporarily, or it is a weapon that fires electrical probes that give an electric shock, causing temporary paralysis. In one definition it is a gunlike device, but in the other it is a weapon. According to Daniel Engber of Slate.com, a Taser shoots out two wires that will make a complete circuit when connected. When they hit a person, the hot wires use the human body to complete the circuit, which sends a very high voltage throughout the body. This will hit the central nervous system, and it will shut a person down for a few seconds. It will pretty much paralyze him or her for a split second.
Is a Taser harmful? Yes, it can be. Daniel Engber says that Tasers can cause minor burns, irregular breathing, and "violent muscle constractions," but that there is minimal evidence that illustrates that the use of Tasers is fatal to healthy human beings.
So, are Tasers good or bad? That’s a personal decision, but the facts show that they are tools used by police officers to help them and to help innocent citizens.
Please Note: See the video interview with local law enforcement regarding the use of Tasers. It can be found in our Video Gallery.