INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — News 8 wanted to know how Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department trains officers to use tasers on the streets.
The IMPD training academy answered the request. Tasers have become essential tools in the department’s new de-escalation training, which is taught at the training facility.
IMPD issued its first taser 15 years ago. The nonlethal electroshock weapons are now standard issue to all new recruits, but what’s new is that recruits and veteran officer have to go through training on how to use tasers.
IMPD Sgt. Michael Daley said, “We use the taser when somebody is assaulting an officer in an effort to try to gain control with as little injury as possible. We will also use it in a situation where somebody may be armed with a deadly weapon and where an officer has a lethal where he is covering that officer, and we use the taser in that scenario to avoid killing that person.”
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The department selected bright yellow tasers, to distinguish them from IMPD handguns.
Daley sat his department-issued Glock handgun next to a taser to show the considerable difference in the two, aside from the color.
The taser is much lighter, and the handle is much smaller than the handgun.
The taser is designed to be used in close range and is not always effective.
The taser shoots two small projectiles, and both have to make contact to be effective.
IMPD policy requires officers wear their tasers on opposite hips from their handguns, which are considered their primary weapons.
Daley said, “So, one of the concerns we have when training with the taser is and when we deploy the taser is that officer doesn’t mistake their handgun for their taser. So, we train officers to put their taser on their support side of their body; so that would be the nonpistol side of their body.”
For right-handed officers, the tasers go on the left side of their hip belts to ensure when a taser is used it is a very deliberate action.
All IMPD officers each train a minimum of eight hours on their own to use their handguns and are given two hours of training with tasers. There is some overlapping training between the two.
The training and use of the tasers is generational; the new officers have always had them, while for some veterans, taser are fairly new tools.