A police-issue taser. (Credit: By Junglecat - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)
A police-issue taser. (Credit: By Junglecat – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Brick police officers have begun carrying tasers, a less-than-lethal weapon used to subdue suspects without deadly force, for the first time, the department announced.

A total of 37 officers have qualified to use the devices, which consist of darts that are launched toward a subject that carry a stream of conducted energy toward the target. All of the officers who qualified for tasers have undergone hours of training in how to use them, said Sgt. Jim Kelly.

“That training included rules of engagement for use of force, Attorney General guidelines on deployment protocols and familiarization on how to safely and effectively deploy the device,” Kelly said.

The utilization of tasers gives the police an option when they are “faced with a situation that results in a need to apply force,” said Kelly. “Officers always prefer to accomplish their mission without having to resort to force, but in those situations where force may be necessary, a CED presents an alternative not previously available to them.”

A CED, or conducted energy device, is a generic name for a taser, which is a specific device manufactured by Axon Corporation.

“Encounters with violent suspects are inevitable, but my hope is that now our officers will be able to safely and more quickly resolve an incident before it has a chance to escalate into a situation that results in an injury to the suspect or our officers,” said Chief James Riccio.