By Jeanne Sager
FALLSBURG December 17, 2004 Folks looking to start a fight with a police officer better watch out.
Come February, Fallsburg police will be out on the streets with TASERs to help back them up in case of a struggle with a suspect.
Its a move to keep cops on the street and provide a nonlethal defensive weapon.
We had lost several police officers for considerable amounts of time because they were wrestling with suspects who were very violent, explained Chief Brent Lawrence.
In fact, one officer has been off the job for three years because of serious injuries sustained during a struggle with a suspect.
Lawrence doesnt know if hell ever come back to the force.
The TASER, a gun-like machine that conducts energy to temporarily stun its victim, was seen as a cost-effective way to reduce injury to both police and defendants.
After a two-month inquiry, the Town of Fallsburg Board agreed, passing a resolution Tuesday to allow the use of TASERs by the department.
Its not going to help you with a spur-of-the-moment fight, but if you have a violent criminal you know youll have to deal with, you can be prepared, Lawrence said.
One of the departments officers is certified to provide training with the TASER, which will begin soon with all the officers.
A total of five TASERs have been purchased one per police cruiser. The TASERs will stay with the vehicle, being used by the officer assigned to the cruiser that particular shift.
Lawrence said he hopes to have everyone up and running by Feb. 1.