In a scene reminiscent of the Old West, a Glendale, Co., police officer recently steered a car with her right hand, aimed a 50,000-volt Taser with her left, then fired at a man as she slowed down, reports the Denver Post. Said the man: “I thought she hit me with the car. Then I couldn’t believe she zapped me while she was driving.” Had the officer worked in another Colorado county, her conduct would have at least raised eyebrows and at worst landed her in trouble, says the Post.
In Aurora, firing a Taser from a moving vehicle is “generally discouraged,” except for extraordinary circumstances, In Glendale, the incident generated little more than routine scrutiny and hearty approval by the officer’s commanders. Taser’s manufacturer boasts that at least 4,200 law enforcement agencies nationwide – almost a third of the total – are clients. More than 100 are in Colorado, and policies governing use of the weapons vary as widely as how frequently officers rely on them. The newspaper found that officers in small and medium-size departments are more likely to use a Taser against a suspect – some cops call it “giving someone a ride” – than their big-city counterparts. Some departments were more than four times as likely.