VIDEO: Sherborn Officers Undergo Voluntary Taser Training

Sherborn Police Department officers shocked by tasers' force.

With two, fish hook-like probes embedded in his right calf, Sherborn Police Officer Paul Vanvliet bellowed in agony while guided to the floor.

After five seconds of tasing, he regained his bearings.

"It was painful … afterwards, I was glad it was over," Vanvliet said.

Officers of the Sherborn Police Department underwent voluntary Taser exposure training Saturday morning. Dubbed by many as "five seconds of hell," the electronic weapons now are an additional tool in an officer's utility belt.

Four Tasers — each costing about at least $1,000, including training materials — were purchased using funds outside the town's budget, Sherborn Police Sergeant David Bento said.

Two Tasers are planned to be at officers' sides during each shift on the streets.

Not only was the weekend training important for officers to learn how to use the weapon, but also it was beneficial to see its effects, Bento said.

Although being tased is not required to carry the weapon, Bento added that every officer volunteered for the electric feel.

"The more training we do, the better off we are," he said.

Many people believe the Taser's 50,000 volts are more than enough to succumb to officers' demands, but it's actually the low amperage, or 0.004 amps, of the weapon which makes it powerful, Sherborn Police Acting Sergeant Luke Tedstone said.

To put it in perspective: an electrical outlet carries more amperage than a Taser, which makes the weapon safe, he said.

An officer has two methods of using the weapon. First, an officer can fire the weapon, releasing two metal probes. The sharp ends plant into a person's body and deliver a shock through 25 foot wires.

"The best way to describe [being tased] is a lockup," Tedstone said. "You can't move, you can't do anything, [you're] just in a lot of pain for a few seconds."

The other method, called the "drive stun," can be used as a sort of "pain compliance," he said. When a suspect resists an officer, for example, the weapon can come in contact with the person's body and deliver a brief shock.

A Taser only is used when a person fails to meet officer demands and becomes combative toward the officer or innocent people, Tedstone said.

"You're just so thankful when it's over," he said.


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