For every taser that’s been fired, there’s an officer who’s spent hours learning about and training with it. This week, members of the Pocatello Police Department got acquainted with their new equipment.
“This new Taser 7 just came out this year … it’s brand new technology, it’s safer technology,” Pocatello Det. Tracy Marshall said. “It’s safer for not only officers but for the people out on the street and for the citizens of Pocatello.”
Among the new features is the ability to shoot multiple cartridges and reactivate ones that have already been fired.
During the day-long training and testing, officers have to learn the ins and outs of the weapon, as well as the proper uses and who should and shouldn’t be tased.
“It’s usually a couple hours of PowerPoint presentation and then there are manipulation drills where we’re drawing and using tasers in a safe environment. And then we do try to do scenario drills where we’re using training cartridges, but in a scenario that we could face out on the street,” he explained.
At the old bus station in Old Town, the group ran through situations like home invasions and fights to give officers that real-life pressure.
“We try to get the officers’ heart rated elevated so that they’re under that stress so that they will react and learn in the training scenario and situation and hopefully incorporate that so they can use that, so they can use those skills out on the street,” Marshall said.
You’re probably wondering what it feels like. Marshall says it’s similar to being shocked by an electric fence and having your muscles tense up.
“You feel that pulsing throughout your whole body,” he said. “The nice thing is, after five seconds, the electricity lets up. You’re then done, and for most people, that’s all that it takes.”
Marshall said most people don’t want to go through the experience more than once and generally start complying immediately.