The advantages of stun guns and patrol car video surveillance are a critical tool in law enforcement. Officers are given the option of Tasers, which are extremely effective when pursuing an offender that might have had the upper hand to fight for a long time, resulting in the officer gaining injuries. Currently, patrol car video is a necessity as video records will enhance an officer’s credibility, corroborate identities, and statement issues, and can be used as evidence in court. However, critical to law enforcement; stun guns should be used as a last resort. Let us examine some of the issues that contain some validity to arguments for the continue use of these tools within law enforcement.
One may argue that a Taser (stun gun) causes muscle contractions and renders a person helpless while being temporarily paralyzed. Lee (2007) addressed this to be true, but law enforcement has maximized training programs so that suspects and officers lives are not in jeopardy. In addition, when a stun gun is used there is a permanent record and the video surveillance is automatically recorded when an officer takes the safety off the weapon (Lee, 2007). Consequently, the stun gun is used by law enforcement specifically for self-defense, and as a result, Lee (2007) mentions there have been hundreds of arrests that would have been involved in most serious outcomes, such as a suspect or officer’s demise.
As much as of 1,500 lives a year are taken by accidents with firearms in the United States (Tennenbaum, A. N., & Moore, A. M. (1993). However, guns have been converted into less-lethal weapons such as Tasers. In fact, the Taser gun also known as a stun gun has the capacity of 50,000 volts that are connected to electrodes, and this nonlethal weapon resembles a gun in its composition and has varying degrees of power. Tennenbaum, A. N., & Moore, A. M. (1993) noted that there are available nonlethal weapon technologies, which give citizens options and no deadly force of traditional guns.
The stun gun is an alternative weapon that can be operated by an officer with proper training and is a nonlethal weapon. One must be capable of using a stun gun to subdue or neutralize a suspect so that no harm will occur to one’s body. After all, not every person has the same body structure, so therefore the stun gun can be more dangerous depending on the individual. Example, someone with a heart defibrillator can die from a stun gun (Lee, 2007). However, with the proper training, an officer has the knowledge of reducing or increasing power on the stun gun, and the main idea here is that the Taser will immediately stop an individual in his tracks by setting the Taser to a specific level for the offender.
One may argue that stun guns may promptly fall into the hands of criminals who will use them for criminal acts. Although, there is no arguing over this point, nevertheless with these weapons such as stun guns, the consequences will not be deadly for either the officer or the offender. Suppose some others may say that nonlethal weapons are unrealistic but interesting. After all, one knows an advance of technological knowledge is essential in law enforcement.
For example, when Tasers are used in the muscular areas, the offender’s nervous system is shut down for up to 30 seconds. As a result, the officer is safe from harm. Finally, an officer now has efficient time to confine or restrain the suspect. Hence, no one gets hurt. Law enforcement wants to prevent any misuse. An individual’s background is nationally run through to verify his credit card information, age, and identification. Finally, there is a check for any felony convictions, not to mention terrorist watch lists. If any information pertaining to felonies show up, the individual will be turned away.
When one uses a patrol car and it is equipped with video surveillance, he is being protected in many ways because video does not lie. Whether the officer is acting inappropriately or the suspect is acting hostile the video will prove to be the most critical evidence. Tennenbaum, A. N., & Moore, A. M. (1993) assures surveillance systems are great additions to police cars. They protect both sides, and if one thinks about it, he would rather be stunned than shot. The most distinct video surveillance brings the highest quality to agencies. They are easy to use and they have the technology to transfer, gather, and retrieve evidence. In fact, the video is shared with court officials and the prosecution while maintaining the integrity of the original video.
There are no negative factors in having patrol car video surveillance. This tool is capable of functional requirements and meeting legislative mandates. Typically, patrol car surveillance systems tend to use analog tape technologies, which can be copied and transferred. However, overall performance in these surveillance systems is limited.
In conclusion, the overall success with law enforcement and the violence out there today are critical tools for an officer’s self-defense. In addition, Taser and video surveillance are the most chosen tools in law enforcement. Furthermore, when the Taser is used properly and efficiently, it will deter the most hostile offenders, whereas most nonlethal weapons will not having the necessary means. Meanwhile video surveillance can help an officer’s defense or a suspect’s guilt in court as it is a permanent video record of an incident. Moreover, video surveillance is never bias, the truth is right in front of you.
Lee, Harry. (2007, February 19). JPSO Tasers Have Proven To Be A Near-Perfect Non-Lethal Weapon That Stuns. Sheriffs Weekly Journal, 27(31), 36, 1/3. Retrieved May 28, 2008, fromhttp://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=24245269&site=ehost-liveTennenbaum, A. N., & Moore, A. M. (1993). Non-Lethal Weapons: Alternatives To Deadly Force. The Futurist, 27(5), 20. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 479634).