According to Wilmore Police Chief Steve Boven, the TASERs will cost approximately $1,000 apiece, but if the city buys up to six of them, the Kentucky League of Cities will reimburse 50 percent of the cost.
TASERs, also known as stun guns, are becoming more and more popular with law enforcement agencies because of their range and ability to completely incapacitate a suspects.
"I can tell you that hitting someone with a metal stick, which is what our batons are, is problematic - most of the time it doesn't work," Alwes said. "The pepper spray sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. The TASER seems to be the most effective tool out there, and it's very safe."
In a small department where there is occasionally no backup available, having another method of controlling a person is essential.
"Every single call our officers get dispatched to involves a person with a gun," Alwes said. "Because the officer brings one to the scene. There is a potential, about a 3 percent chance, that the officer will be shot with his own weapon. What the TASER does is it gives that officer, who may be physically less capable than the person they are facing, an opportunity to stand off about 21 feet and control the person safely."
Alwes went on to say that he sits on a government panel that evaluated the effectiveness of TASERs. He said out of 997 cases they reviewed, only three involved serious injury, one of which was critical due to the person falling.
The city visited the issue before in 2007, and since then, City Attorney Robert Gullette researched the weapons.
"If you talk to any officer that's carried one, people that have fought time and time again, he rides the lightning one time - he never fights again," Gullette said. "They're the real deal."
The Wilmore Police Department also made a request to the council for the purchase of new sidearms and more duty and training ammunition. Alwes told the council that the prices for those types of items, especially ammunition, has risen dramatically recently.
"The last time we ordered training ammunition, it cost approximately $150 for 1,000 rounds," he said. "As of today, that is going for somewhere between $450 and $500 for the same item. So we're facing incredibly inflated prices."
The sidearms the officers carry now, SIGs, are at the point where they need heavy maintenance. Alwes proposed that, instead of buying the kits which run for about $125 apiece, they sell their firearms to a law enforcement dealer for $250 each and buy new weapons for approximately $475.