Monthly Archives: February 2009

A Mind-boggling Experience!

You know that old saying, “Be careful what you ask for!”? How about the one that says you should never volunteer for anything? Well, I’ve never been much on old sayings but I just might start listening. The department is considering purchasing enough tasers so that everyone in Uniform Patrol will have one. So, all the sergeants had to get certified. Now, it’s not required for certification that the student actually be exposed to a taser deployment, but it is highly recommended. Some people say that they don’t make us get shot with our guns so that we know how it will affect us, but a gun is univerally known for its damage potential. When it comes to stuff like pepper spray and tasers, it’s easier to explain why you shot a perpetrator when he took your spray or your taser when you have been subjected to it and know for sure how it incapacitates you and renders you defenseless.

I was on the fence when I went to class. For pete’s sake, I’m 45 years old, been a cop for nearly 23 years, and just how much more do I have to subject myself to? But at then end of the classroom portion of the training, they list the pros and cons of be tased. There was only one con–it hurts. The pros were that it will help with your testimony should you have to use deadly force, it will keep you from abusing it since you will know how it feels, and it shows that you are a leader. The one that got me was the leader. I’m a shift supervisor, one of the most senior sergeants at my precinct, and an instructor in several areas. How can a leader expect his followers to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves? How can you instruct and promote a piece of equipment that you have never experienced first hand? So I decided to do it.

Now that decision did not come lightly. As I have aged, I have found that I don’t do as well with physical pain as I once did. It also takes a lot longer to recover. Most of my days are spent trying to avoid pain! But I couldn’t be a coward, I had to show that females can take it. I’ve been trying to prove that for 23 years and have done pretty good if I do say so myself. After all, it’s only five seconds. How bad could it be?

I watched one of the guys do it first. Now I’ve seen a lot of tasings on TV and a few in person and I’ve seen people overcome it. I’ve seen them run with the wires hanging from them, I’ve seen them break the wires, and I’ve seen them take hit after hit and still fight. The sergeant that went first is about 6’4″ and weighs about 300 pounds. His back arched, his body stiffened, and he did things with his mouth that I’ve only seen in the movie “The Exorcist”! But he didn’t catch on fire, none of his limbs fell off, and he didn’t utter a sound. When it was over, he stood up and appeared to be just fine and free of any lingering affects.

I decided to go next (before I chickened out). I hand-selected my spotters (guys on either side of you, holding you up under your armpits) and chose two guys I know well and trust. I took a deep breath and looked to them for comfort. My right leg wouldn’t stop shaking. I got cotton mouth and could not have spit if my life depended on it. I grinned for the camera, and waited for the warning…TASER TASER TASER!

I’ve never actually been hit by a train, and now that I have experienced what must be the closest thing to it, I never want to be! I wanted to run from the pain but I couldn’t move. The only body parts that seemed to be working were my right hand and my mouth. I immediately began screaming, “STOP, PLEASE STOP!” I tried to stop talking but I couldn’t. My right hand went immediately to my right-side spotter’s crotch, which was not good for either of us. I felt a tingling sensation all over my body, which one would expect from an electrical device that shoots two metal probes like fish hooks into your flesh and sends an electrical charge through every fiber of your being. But that wasn’t the bad part. The taser sends a pulse through your body 19 times per second. Do the math, that’s 95 pulses at 50,000 volts during a five second ride. Each one of those pulses feels like someone has a jackhammer that encompasses your whole body and hits you with it…19 times a second. It hurt so bad you could hear the pain.

When it was over, I felt like I had run a marathon. My back was bleeding from the top prong, but my butt was okay from the second one. It’s been four days now and I still have a bruise on my back the size of a tangerine. I couldn’t stop shaking for about ten minutes, and although the pain was gone, I realized that I had just done one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in my life.

Can I provide a better testimony? Yes. Did it lend credence and credibility to my position as an instructor? Yes. Will it keep me from abusing the tool? Absolutely. But here’s the real question. If the department came to me and said I had to be tased again or I would lose my job, what would be my response?


New Week

The new book I’m reading is excellent. Ray Comfort is a firm believer and has a way of keeping you entertained while providing valid and valuable information. He’s pretty funny and the way he explains the ideas of evolution and the big bang theory makes it so simple to see that atheists are just wrong. He also makes me more appreciative of the evidence God has left for us to see how awesome His creation really is! I’m really enjoying the book.

I went to driving school today in our new driving simulator. It made me sick. We only spent about 5 minutes actually “driving” in the machine and man, I’ve been queasy ever since! They also had some nurses from Our Lady of the Lake hospital to do some wellness testing and they said my “health age” is 40.9 years old. That’s four years younger than I am.

I’m just a few stitching hours from finishing Ashlyn’s stocking and might even finish it today or tomorrow! Then I can start on the next one. I also got a couple of new patterns last week (like my stash wasn’t already ridiculous) and I’m excited about them, too.