Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue said his deputies haven't had to use their Tasers yet in the line of duty, but he's ready to buy more.
"On a couple of occasions, they've had to bring them out at the site, and it was a deterrent," Perdue said. "This is another form of non-lethal weapon the county attorney and judges are in favor of."
Non-lethal, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, means the weapon is not intented to cause death, but can. As Tasers have become more popular in law enforcement, there have been incidents where people have died following being hit with a Taser, but according to Taser International, the Taser has never been found to be the primary cause of death.
Wikipedia, an online user-created encyclopedia listed 245 deaths following a Taser shock between June 2001 and June 2007. Seven said the Taser shock was a cause or contributing factor, but could not be ruled out as a cause of death. Another 16 cases listed the Taser shock as a secondary or contributing factor in the death. Another four deaths occurred in Canada between October and November 2007, some within minutes of being shocked.
Both say they are comfortable with using the devices and believe they are a good alternative to other weapons.
"You haven't had any one go in front of a court and testify that a Taser was the sole cause of death," Palmer said. "The data's been done. The trials have been done."
"We feel its less of a liability to use this non-lethal use of force," Perdue said.
All officers who carry a Taser must be on the receiving end during training, Palmer and Perdue said. The sensation is much different than touching an electric fence or coming into contact with household electric current. Where household current carries between 10 and 100 amps, a Taser uses .003 amps, Palmer said. The amperage, he said, makes the difference.
"It's not so painful as shocking," Perdue said. "It completely immobilizes and freezes you. You have no control of your body and you're going down.
"Five seconds was plenty for me."
"The number one goal is to control the suspect without having to resort to other tools," Palmer said.
Having Tasers adds one more option, rather than replacing others.
"The Taser doesn't take the place of your firearm," Perdue said.
"I won't be doing any building searches with this," Palmer said.