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Pittsburg County Gets New Tasers; Guns Are 'Last Resort', Sheriff Says

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Tasers cost $1,000 each, and a local businessman gave the money to buy 18 for the department. Tasers cost $1,000 each, and a local businessman gave the money to buy 18 for the department.
Our reporter knows -- she volunteered to feel a Taser for herself, in what she said were the longest 5 seconds of her life. Our reporter knows -- she volunteered to feel a Taser for herself, in what she said were the longest 5 seconds of her life.
The sheriff said he wants a gun to be his deputies' last resort. The sheriff said he wants a gun to be his deputies' last resort.
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office is now armed with a new fleet of weapons.

A donation enabled the agency to buy 18 new tasers.

The sheriff said he wants a gun to be his deputies' last resort. Officers with the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office have been using Tasers for years, but with new technology it was time for an upgrade.

“When we'd actually try to use them, they would fail us,” sheriff Joel Kerns said.

So it's out with the old and in with the new.

“Every scenario is different, but this gives us a less lethal option so that we don't have to take a life,” deputy James Holloway said.

Holloway is a certified Taser instructor, and now he and 17 other officers are armed with new, digital Tasers.

“I'll know every time that someone will activate a Taser, to disarming the Taser,” he said.

Holloway has only needed to use a Taser once on the job. It was several years ago, he says, to subdue a suicidal man who was only a danger to himself.

The standoff ended with no one seriously injured and no deaths. And that's the goal.

The sheriff said his deputies are only to use deadly force as a last resort -- if their life or the life of another is in danger.

“If we can use these, without taking somebody's life, that's what we're gonna use,” Kerns said. “We're gonna use the Tasers.”

The Tasers lock up the muscles, stopping a suspect in his or her tracks.

And this is how our reporter knows -- she volunteered to feel it for herself, in what she said were the longest 5 seconds of her life.

“It's .0028 amps that was going through, channeled over 50,000 volts,” Holloway said.

It's a strong current that every deputy who carries a Taser has experienced, too.

“I promote that my officers do so that they're able to better respect the weapon, understand the effects of the weapon and that it's not a toy,” he said.

Tasers cost $1,000 each, and a local businessman gave the money to buy 18 for the department.

“He's been real good to my department, if he sees anything that we need that we can't receive immediate funds for, he purchases them for us,” Kerns said. “He's really concerned about his county. He just wants to help.”

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