You want to be a police officer. So now, you have all kinds of questions about what kind of training you’ll have to do to be one. One of the first thoughts that comes to mind for a lot of aspiring cops is—do police officers have to get tasered for training? That’s why we’re going to take a good look at the answer right here.
So, do police officers have to get tasered for training? The answer is yes for many, but it depends on what department you’ll be working in. If you’re going to become an officer that will be carrying and using tasers on the job, then you will go through what’s known as exposure training, thus you will be tased.
Why Police Officers Have to Get Tasered
The reason a cop is tased during their training is simple. It’s about understanding and using the tools of the trade responsibly. If you’ve never experienced something, there’s no way for you to understand the true power of it and how it affects others. You also won’t know what to expect from the subject you’re tasing if you’ve never felt the effects.
Let’s say you’re showing up to an incident and there’s a person who is behaving belligerently. You have multiple tools you can use on your belt to try to gain control over the situation. If you don’t fully understand how each tool might affect the belligerent individual, how can you decide what to use? You’ll know what the taser does to the body if you’ve been tased yourself in training.
The Tasering Training Procedure
There’s more to the process of training with a taser than just getting tased. You’ll start by learning how to perform the loading and unloading procedures first. It’s important that you know how to do this safely so you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else in the process.
Next, you’ll have to learn how to aim the taser correctly. Your instructors will let you fire the taser at a test dummy so you can get the probes to land where you want them to. You’ll have a lot of discussion about where the probes should come in contact with the body to be the most effective. This part of the training also allows you to hear what it sounds like when the taser is fired so you can become familiar with it.
The last step is to be exposed to how it actually feels to be tased. When it’s your turn, you’ll stand between two of your fellow recruits. They will each take hold of you underneath your arms so that you are supported throughout the exercise. Your instructor will deploy the taser at you from behind. The probes will attach just above and below your belt line.
The exposure session only lasts for five seconds. It’s five seconds you won’t likely ever forget though. By the end of the five seconds, your academy classmates will have laid you face-down on the ground so you don’t fall over and get hurt in any way.
What Tasering Does to the Body
Tasers aren’t meant to inflict pain or cause injury to the subject they’re being used on. The purpose of them is to incapacitate the person so they cannot cause harm to the officer or anyone else. A taser is meant as a tool for de-escalation. That, in turn, allows the police officer to take control of the potentially harmful situation.
When the probes attach to the person’s body, they send an electric charge throughout their muscles. The charge keeps the muscles from being able to move. The individual’s body essentially just completely locks up. They’re unable to do anything physically. Communication between the muscles and the brain gets disrupted for those five seconds.
The brain does not stop altogether, however. You’ll be able to think, to see, to hear, and to reason without issue. You simply won’t be able to move on your own. Usually, when someone gets tased who isn’t being supported on both sides like in police officer exposure training, they’ll just fall to the ground like a brick.
How to Tase a Subject
Should you make it through your training and be confronted with a situation in which you need to deploy your taser, there is a way to go about it properly. It’s critical that when you draw your taser with the intention of firing it, that you say the word “taser” very loudly three times in a row so the subject you’re aiming at, as well as anyone else in the surrounding area, hears you. The reason for this is to let everyone know what’s coming.
The sound a taser makes is much like what you hear when a gun fires. That can give others in the vicinity quite a scare. You need to do your due diligence to let them know that it’s not gunfire. Confusion about this can lead to unnecessary stress responses and even injury in some cases.
A Look at a Taser Gun
First of all, Taser is actually a brand of weapon that is now owned by a company called Axon. “Tasers” are really part of a category of non-lethal tools called electroshock weapons. There are a number of various brands that are carried by different police departments across the nation. The name taser has just become a catch-all term for these tools.
The type we’re talking about in this article is the gun-style tasers. When deployed, they fire projectile probes out from the barrel that attach to the clothes or the skin of the unruly subject. The probes are attached at the end to wires that stay connected to the gun.
The standard versions of stun-guns, as they’re sometimes referred to, can deliver an electric shock with up to 50,000 volts. Just for reference, your car battery usually runs with only 12 to 15 volts of electricity.
The use of these weapons gained a lot of popularity over the course of the 2000s decade. They’ve evolved along the way. They now exert more force and power. They’ve also been developed into another version where long-range probes can be shot from a shotgun that isn’t attached to any wires. The projectile detached probes attach to the target and deliver the shock without the need for a physical connection to the gun.
Are Tasers Harmful?
There has been some attention paid to the topic of whether tasers are harmful or not. Generally, these weapons will only incapacitate a person physically for a very short amount of time. However, if there are pre-existing medical conditions or other factors such as drug use to contend with, then there could be a risk of injury for subjects who fall into this category.
The other notable risk has to do with fire. These guns deliver an electric shock. Electricity can cause fire. It’s important for all police officers to follow the guidelines that come along with the use of tasers. They indicate that the guns should not be fired within close proximity to flammable materials, liquids, or fumes.
It’s an Important Part of Police Officer Training
Our final words are just to say that getting tased is an extremely important part of police officer training. If you’re going to be tasked with using this type of weapon on others then you need to know what you’re dealing with. You need to know how it feels, what it does within your body, what it sounds like, and what it can do for the situation you’re being presented with. Then you’ll be able to use the tool in the most effective and responsible manner.
Do police officers have to get pepper sprayed for training?
Just like with taser training, officers who will be carrying pepper spray will be going through exposure training with this tool. Each academy may do their training slightly differently, but the time will come when recruits will get to experience getting pepper-sprayed.
Many of the training programs covering the use of this tool and the effects it produces include trying to function after being sprayed. This allows officers to see how hard or easy it will be for a subject who has been sprayed to get away or cause harm to another person after they’ve been sprayed. Trainees may be asked to speak about certain things, open their eyes, move through obstacles, and find specific targets.
Do police officers get paid for training?
Police academy training lasts for six months. During that time you will be receiving a full starting salary. Once you finish with the academy training, you will get a raise in your pay. The raise varies by department though.
You’ll also find that the starting salary varies from city to city. Another factor that affects your base pay is your educational background. Most cities pay a higher amount to those who have a college degree than they do to those with only a high school diploma. However, it’s not true of all locations.
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun and I’m so grateful that you’re here.
Civil servants are some of the hardest working, most generous people I know. I have been passionate about all types of civil service career paths for years now and enjoy sharing everything I continue to learn about them.
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