USA – Holly Springs, Mississippi Police Chief considers pepper-spray gun [instead of taser] (2013-11-28)

Published on November 28 2013 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS: This small town (pop 7,500) decides to adopt a pepper-spray gun – JPX Cobra 450 pepper gun – as an alternative to a taser, which the police chief says has been blamed for some deaths: “The pepper spray will not take down everyone, particularly those who may be high on PCP and other stimulants, but the gun will take down a bear”. It costs half the price of a taser. “No one has ever died of pepper spray,” Teeters said of the unit which is just released from Europe. The use of pepper spray reduces the liability to practically nil, he said.]]

The South Reporter, By Sue Watson

Police chief William Hollowell presented a pepper-spray gun as an alternative to a taser during a recent meeting of the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen.

The JPX Cobra 450 pepper gun is in use for both law enforcement non-lethal protection and as a personal defense product.

Ron Teeters, a retired, veteran police officer with the Los Angeles, Calif., Police Department, said the weapon is an alternative to the taser, which he said has been blamed for some deaths.

The pepper spray will not take down everyone, particularly those who may be high on PCP and other stimulants, but the gun will take down a bear, Teeters said.

It is cost competitive with the taser. Four Cobras can be purchased for the price of one taser, he said. The half-life of the taser is four years. The JPX Cobra 450 will take down a suspect and disable the subject for 45-50 minutes, giving an officer time to call for backup and take the subject to jail. Water and cool air is the antidote.

New regulations for the use of the taser have come out. The unit cannot be used on a mentally unstable person who is running away or on anyone who has been drinking or has heart problems. Teeters said there are 33 lawsuits now on the use of tasers.

“No one has ever died of pepper spray,” Teeters said of the unit which is just released from Europe.

The use of pepper spray reduces the liability to practically nil, he said. Twelve people have been killed in Oklahoma City, Okla., with taser guns, he said.

Alderman-at-large Tim Liddy asked about the risk of collateral damage.

Teeters said the spray is a polarized stream of water, not an aerosol that would empty the board room if sprayed. Spread is limited when the gun is fired up close, he said.

“It’s a fancy squirt gun,” said Liddy.

“How effective is it if the person is fully masked?” asked alderman Christy Owens. “Will it penetrate fabric?”

Teeters said it would have to seep through clothing to affect a masked individual. He said one microscopic drop is enough to take a subject down. The spray comes out of the gun at 450 miles an hour so that limits scattering. The impact of the spray is not painful. He said the nose is the target, not the eyes. The liquid has the consistency of whole milk, he said.

The ingredients are cayenne pepper and water – truly a non-lethal weapon, Teeters said. While with the taser, 500 people have had heart attacks from being tased.

Alderman Bernita Fountain, also a deputy with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, said the JPX Cobra would not take down a person who was running away.

Teeters said the answer would be yes and no. If shot in the back of the head, some of the pepper spray would come around the face to a degree. Officers have 45 minutes to wait for backup if the officer does not begin cleaning up the subject.

Fountain asked how many shots can be fired before reloading. Teeters said two. The cost of two shots is $32.95. A taser costs $37 a shot, he said. The Cobra comes with two shots at a cost of $359.95 per unit while a taser costs over $1,000, he said.

Alderman Sharon Gipson asked what the long-term effects would be. The Cobra is just a step away from a taser, she said.

“We want to work on preventing crime instead of preparing for an all-out war,” she said.

She asked to hear more about prevention.

Chief Hollowell also gave a brief incident report:

• three robbery suspects had been arrested.

• the armed robbery of a library patron was unsolved.

• a suspect had been apprehended in a forcible rape that took place October 22.

• officers wrote 123 citations for the month of October. Most tickets were for speeding or no driver’s license.

• the chief is working directly with school children to try to steer them away from crime and toward constructive behaviors.

Fountain asked if the vacancy at the police department would be filled with a full-time youth officer.

Hollowell said he wants a regular officer and that regular officers will work with the youth as well. He said he is taking on that role to a great extent. Officers work with students in intermediate and high school at every grade level, he said.

Intervention takes place in middle school where juveniles are most impressionable, he said.

“I’m sort of my own youth officer right now,” Hollowell said.

Most juveniles who are arrested are released to the custody of their parents, he said.

Officers assigned to general police duties will also be able to work with youth court, he said.

Fountain said she was hoping for a full-time youth officer.

Hollowell said he has selected a couple of officers to work with youth who have a special interest.

Mayor Kelvin Buck said he agreed with Fountain, that a full-time youth officer who deals with more than the criminal side is needed to go to housing projects.

“It takes a special person, I think,” he said. “It requires a person dedicated pretty much full-time. It is something we probably want to discuss more and be proactive – for an officer to have a positive impact on a child before trouble starts.”

Hollowell said he is looking for the right officer to start with ninth graders and stay with them to graduation. He said he would select an officer in-house.

http://www.southreporter.com/2013/wk48/pepper_spray.html

Comments are closed.