News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, March 13, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Richmond County deputies will have new weapons by the end of the month. They're phasing in Tasers to the department, and deputies have been training all week for the new tools.
Road deputies will be the first group to get the new weapons.
"It's going to be great for our department, because it's not only going to protect our officers, it's going to protect people that we're dealing with on a daily basis," said Lt. Robbie Silas.
But first, deputies have to test out the equipment and be shocked themselves.
Sgt. Chris Chavis knows firsthand what a Taser shock feels like. He's been shocked five times, and he says, "It's like having from your eyeballs to your toes being charley horsed. It's probably the worst five seconds you can imagine."
Lt. Silas says, "It's undescribable. It immobilizes you. You just can't do anything. It's five seconds of pure heck."
They say the benefit of getting shocked is knowing what kind of weapon you are dealing with.
"They'll remember the pain they felt and also at the same time, they know what the capabilities of this is," Sgt. Chavis said.
These tools of the trade come with a hefty price tag, though, more than $1,000 a piece.
"There is a head cost when you first get started and going to Tasers. There is an upfront cost," Chavis said.
He says that upfront cost quickly pays for itself by lowering the number of injuries to deputies, as well as suspects.
"So you're saving money in the long run, and you're not hurting your officers," he said.
Everyone in the department will eventually be issued a Taser, but since they are very expensive, they are phasing them in gradually.
They plan to start issuing them to road deputies after training is over, probably around March 20.
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