Pennsylvania State Police Adds 3,000 Tasers

LANCASTER, Pa. --

A growing number of state police in Pennsylvania are adding another tool to their belts and troopers said it's to save lives.

The state police started arming more personnel with electronic immobilization devices, commonly known as Tasers, in January.

Commanders said that about 3,000 troopers now carry the weapons.

State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller said officers have used the Tasers 144 times since their debut.

Officers said that often times; the Tasers have stopped someone from hurting themselves, troopers or someone else.

The weapon fires darts that unleash a 50,000 volt charge into someone who fails to comply with a trooper’s order.

"The Taser has provided an excellent option as an alternative to the use of deadly force. The response from the troopers in the field has been completely positive and the key reason is because the Taser makes it much less likely that an officer will become involved in a physical confrontation that could result in injuries to the suspect or loss of life," Miller said.

Tasers cost about $900 each and are paid for from money seized from crimes such as drug deals.

Miller said that just the sight of the Tasers, which are black, yellow and green, is often enough to make people surrender.

As proof of just how much of a difference Tasers can make, Miller said Wednesday that some police departments across the country that have started using Tasers more have seen an 80 percent decrease in officer injury since the addition of the tools.

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