The flash of electricity and that eerie clicking sound fo a taser, are sights and sounds that could soon be heard here in Abilene. At least, that's what is being discussed this week at the Abilene City Council.
"At this point, we simply want to expose the City Council to the concept," explains City Manager, Larry Gilley in a press briefing.
Meanwhile, other departments are already using a taser as an option in law enforcement. More than five thousand agencies equip their officers with this tool. "All of our patrol officers, in the Brownwood Police Department, carry tasers when on duty," says Sgt. Troy Carroll. He continues to say that it's been a great addition for Brownwood PD. "If we've got a taser we can effectively control them, because it shocks their muscles, and they will fall to the ground."
He also explains that the BPD feel it's a safer tool. "It's safer for the public, that way we don't have to shoot and kill someone."
Sgt. Carroll says even more, this gives the officer in the street one more step before having to take things to a more serious level. "This weapon is used below the level of force of the baton, and below the level of force of the firearm."
The advantages don't end there, this weapon comes equipped with extra items. "There's actually a camera located on the battery pack," points out Sgt. Carroll. "It has an infrared light, camera with audio, all started at the same time, so all deployments are recorded and downloaded."
Seeing this tool, definitely brings a shock, one that Abilene officers could be packing. "It would give them the opportunity to fully explore the benefits before we go down that path," says Gilley about the research being done on the addition of tasers. Of course, all of this is still to be determined.
We asked the Abilene Police Department about the possibility of adding the taser, but they declined to speak on it until after it's discussed with the City Council on Thursday.