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Board approves purchase of used Tasers

After a two week delay, the Grady County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of 20 pre-owned M26 Tasers for the Grady County Sheriff’s Office.
Corporal Jake Bush and Assistant Jail Administrator John Walton appeared before the board to explain the request and answer questions Tuesday night.
Cpl. Bush told commissioners 20 additional Tasers would provide units for jailers as well as spares for road deputies.
The lawman noted that the Tasers used by road deputies contain cameras to provide video of each use of the unit, but since the detention center is under video monitoring it was not necessary for jailers to have Tasers equipped with cameras.
Bush said that the units being recommended cost $175 each, but if purchased new they would run $500 each.
Grady County Commission Chairman Charles Norton and Commissioner Al Ball questioned Bush and Walton about the training and certification procedures for users of Tasers.
Bush said that jailers would be required to undergo training and achieve certification before being issued a Taser. The corporal also suggested the units be kept under lock and key and keys only issued to those who are certified and trained.
Commissioner Ball requested the sheriff’s office provide the board a report on who was certified and who was not.
Chairman Norton agreed with Bush’s recommendation to maintain the units under lock and key. “We want to keep them at the sheriff’s office and not going home with anybody,” Norton said.
Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye noted that the funds to purchase the used Tasers is not in the sheriff’s budget and would have to come out of contingency funds. “It is one heck of a deal. I will say that,” Moye added.
“The Taser has become the litigious darlings of police departments and sheriff’s offices across the country. People are suing day and night for improper use of Tasers. The training and close monitoring of the training and certification has to be done,” Commissioner T.D. David pointed out.
Cpl. Bush agreed and said, “Training, supervision, monitoring and documentation are vital.”
The assistant jail administrator concurred and said, “just having them on our hip will help in a lot of cases.”
Bush estimated the total cost of the purchase including the necessary training and Taser cartridges would be less than $5,000.
The board voted unanimously to authorize the expenditure of $3,500 for the purchase of the 20 used Tasers.

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