Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Taser use is safer than alternatives

The Prineville Police Department has been using Tasers for the past year, and although one officer described the feeling of being tased as "putting your finger in a light socket and getting hit by a bat," this feeling is, shockingly, better than some alternatives.
   While no one on the staff at the Central Oregonian has ever felt the power of a Taser, we feel it is an appropriate weapon in law enforcement.
   The effects, though powerful, are usually temporary. But as shown in today's story on Tasers, they can be used as an alternative to an otherwise deadlier option. In the case regarding Prineville Police Officer Jeremiah Reid, one in which he was face-to-face with the barrel of a hunting rifle, Tasers can actually save lives.
   While the Taser provides a safer means of dealing with potentially deadly situations - safer than say a firearm would - they also reduce any physical action an officer might endure in certain situations, as well as reduce any mental trauma officers might experience when a deadlier option is used.
   However, the Taser is still a dangerous weapon, and we ask the PPD to proceed with caution.
   While the Taser has never been the direct cause of a person's death, it has been a factor, according to a story from CBS News in 2004.
   With that, we applaud the PPD for its decision to purchase and use the Taser, and hope that they will serve as a model for other central Oregon law enforcement agencies.