Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hamlet on Tasers

Supervisor Hamburg on taser use by by patrol deputies. A Blue Meanie guy from way back, the 5th District supervisor knows the Blue Meanie bloc will be ga-ga with delight that he brought it up. Hamburg went on to demagogically imply that the recent Point Arena shooting death could have been handled without lethal force by responding deputies and then, after his usual Hamlet act that he's only voting yes "reluctantly" voted for tasers, which, of course are preferable to .357's as pacifying agents.


Hamburg: “I noticed that there are 36 tasers on order. How many of our deputies carry tasers?”

Allman: “Every patrol deputy and sergeant carries a taser. We have some of the newer generation units so we don't have to replace those. I carry a taster. I will be very blunt. When a citizen asks me why I carry a taser I can tell you that the Sheriff's Office has not been involved in a physical bar fight probably ub seven years. We don't have physical confrontations on the street anymore because of the technology of tasers that allows us to deescalate a situation. I am not saying that it is deescalated by the utilization of the tasers, I'm saying the fact that the Deputy has a taser is enough for many people to put up their hands and say they will not fight anymore.”

Hamburg: “Do you think it is an effective deterrent?”

Allman: “I know it is. I can tell you that our workers compensation has dropped dramatically because we no longer go hands-on with people. We merely say that we have a taser and the fight is over at that point.”

Hamburg: “Approximately how many taser episodes do we have in a year?”

Allman: “Maybe two.”

Hamburg: “So a taser is used twice in a year?”

Allman: “Maybe two times in a year. Maybe one in the jail. They are all fully documented with a report of what led up to it, the incident itself, and then post taser use. The tasers in the jail are equipped with video cameras so that when you turn the taser on the camera automatically comes on. I would like to use that on the street but the taser video unit is much bulkier than when it has the camera. So we hope that as technology continues to reduce —”

Hamburg: “My last question, sir. This is a new generation of taser?”

Allman: “Yes.”

Hamburg: “And this is like a $50,000 item? Is that what it is?”

Allman: “I think a new taser is $1200.”

Hamburg: “No, I mean 36 of them. 36 new tasers.”

Allman: “Yes, $45,000-$48,000, yes.”

Hamburg: “Can you just very quickly sum up what is the new technology? Is it supposed to be safer in terms of its use? Or…?”

Allman: “I will explain briefly what happens when a taser is utilized. I am going to take mine out of the holster here. I have taken the cartridge out. When the taser is turned on, the red dot comes on, I will put a red dot on the wall there, and the flashlight comes on and it shows the deputy what the percentage of battery usage is. The cartridge is the important part. The cartridge has two prongs that come out with a 20 foot length of copper wire that both of them need to attach to the subject and then the stun is put in and demobilizes the suspect for five seconds. Also when this comes out there are small pieces of paper that come out of that actually have the serial number for this cartridge on them so that after a taser — let's say we have multiple tasers or usages, we would be able to go in there and clearly say when tasers were used and so forth. The battery that is in this taser right here is a memory device. And the memory cannot be defeated. When a taser is utilized the battery is removed from the taser and it is taken to the office and downloaded in a docking station and it is uploaded for information that goes to the District Attorney's Office of how many taser usages were given to that defendant, whether it was one or three, the exact time, the exact date, the scientific information clearly contained in the battery and in the cartridge itself.”

. . .

Hamburg: “Several people in my district have approached me, you know, got in touch with me by e-mail about the taser item. Everybody knows there's a lot of talk around the entire country about the increasing militarization of the police force and tasers have been used fairly recently in the Fifth District. There was a very tragic incident that happened in Point Arena that drew a good deal of attention. So I am going to reluctantly support this item. [rubs brow]. I think the Sheriff makes a good argument that taser use takes the place of more lethal force and to the extent it does that I think it's a good thing. We all hear about incidents that are, where just the very presence of certain types of weapons seems to lead their being used more and then questions are raised as to the amount of force that's used to subdue suspects. But I do believe that the Sheriff is being judicious in this regard and I am going to support the item. But I did need to bring it up. As I said, I had public interest in it and I wanted the greater public to hear why we are spending $50,000 to upgrade our taser capability in Mendocino County.”

Allman: “I would welcome an opportunity later in the year to give a full overview of taser usage throughout the county to make sure that the Board of Supervisors and the public is fully aware of how we're using them, how we train, and what the past usage has been.”

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *