Pros and Cons of Tasers

April 5, 2012 — 11,928 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Law enforcement officials are employed to keep the peace as much as they are to enforce laws, so non-lethal methods of restraint are important to their work. Tasers are becoming increasingly common in the United States, but their role has yet to be consistently defined because of certain controversies surrounding their use. Consider the pros and cons of using these weapons before adopting them in a public or private security force.

The single most salient benefit of a non-lethal weapon such as a taser is that it doesn't cause lasting physical damage when it's used properly. Though they use bursts of pain to make people comply with law enforcement demands, the sensation is intended to be brief and ends very quickly. They're also lauded for the security they give to police officers. The typical range of a taser is 10.6 meters, which means that law enforcement can operate safely without having to rely on firearms.

The downside to tasers is that they require a great deal of training that many police departments aren't equipped to give, unlike the well-established and historic lessons associated with firearm use. In fact, many of the accidental harm that comes to the victims of taser fire (as well as police officers themselves), results from improper use of the devices. There are also concerns that tasers cause undue pain to suspects, as well as that equipping officers with tasers will make them more likely to use the non-lethal weapons when that level of force isn't called for.