Though a lot of people who end up getting tased by Guilford County Sheriff’s Department officers next year might end up pleading, “Don’t tase me, Bro!” the department will have plenty of new and efficient tasers to go around should officers wish to not heed that plea.
That’s by virtue of a large new Christmastime purchase of new tasers for deputies and detention officers in the department.
The cost to replace the Tasers, accompanying equipment such as cartridges and batteries, and provide training is over a million dollars – $1,104,194 to be exact. The Guilford County Purchasing Department was consulted by Sheriff’s Department officials about the need, and purchasing staff approved a sole source exemption for Tasers from the Axon Company.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department issues a variety of weapons to its deputies and detention officers – including what’s officially known as the “Taser Conducted Energy Weapon.”
Tasers have been used by the department for about two decades, and the current model – the X26P – has been in use for the last eight years. Since the supported life cycle of a Taser is roughly five years, the department has described the current X26P arsenal as “end-of-life” equipment.
“It is no longer being supported in any manner by the Axon Company, which owns Taser,” a report from the Sheriff’s Department states. “The Sheriff’s Office is not able to purchase any of the needed equipment, such as replacement batteries, replacement cartridges, or replace/repair damaged/broken Tasers.”
Sheriff’s department officials also said the tasers are necessary to effectively carry out the duties of officers. Tasers assist officers in stopping assaults or threats of assaults by offenders by means of “neuromuscular incapacitation.” The weapons also assist in deescalating situations that might have resulted in assaults.
The newest model – Taser Model 10 – will now be put in use..
The Sheriff’s Department is using Federal Forfeiture funds to cover about half of the cost of the purchase of the Tasers, all accompanying equipment, and training.
Federal Forfeiture funds – which are gathered when officers confiscate Lamborghinis and wads of cash that are ill-gotten gains by drug dealers and other nefarious people – may by law only be used for specific law enforcement activities.