Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Every Broome County Sheriff's Deputy is assigned a taser.
The Office has had tasers for about two years but how often have they been used?
The Broome County Sheriff's Office has 46 tasers. Sergeant Benjamin Harting, the Training Director, says they have more than any agency in a six to seven county area or more. The tasers were purchased in March 2011.
"Since that time period, we have had 18 deployments. Two of those have been on animals. The rest have been subjects. We're at about a 96.7 percent success rate on those," said Harting.
Sergeant Harting described success as the taser had been deployed and operated as trained to achieve NMI (neuromuscular incapacitation) and take the person into custody.
"It's another tool our officers have to use to mitigate any kind of serious actions going on whether it be someone fighting with them or someone armed with a bat or a pipe. Rather than our officer using lethal force on them, we have in circumstances used the taser against them instead," he said.
On Tuesday, a Taser Training seminar was held for new taser users. Several participants took voluntary taser exposures. Harting says the Sheriff's Office has a high rate of personnel volunteering to get tasered.
"It's an experience and builds a lot of credibility for them especially on the witness stand or in a case. They understand when they go to deploy a taser on someone, 'I know what it feels like. Do I really want to deploy this taser on this person? or are there other options?'" said Harting.
In-service personnel must go through training every year to be re-certified.
All recruits at the academy get tasered too during training.
During Taser Training, an eight hour course, deputies learn not only how to use tasers but how they affect the body, where to use them on a subject, the best way to remove the probes and the legal factors involved with tasers.
"Misconceptions are that tasers do kill people. Up to this current date, tasers have not been directly linked to being the primary cause of factor of someone's death. There's a lot of factors contributed with it including someone's past drug history, health condition or heart condition," said Harting.