INSIDE IOWA STATE
December 14, 2001
Geoffroy recommends tasers
by Steve Sullivan
President Gregory Geoffroy will recommend that department of public safety
officers be allowed to carry tasers.
Geoffroy's recommendation will be forwarded to the Board of Regents, State
of Iowa, for consideration at its next meeting. University of Iowa and
University of Northern Iowa officials also are considering the use of tasers
on their campuses.
Geoffroy made his decision after receiving input from individual members of
the Iowa State community and various campus groups, including the Government
of the Student Body and the Faculty Senate.
"I greatly appreciate the comments received from students, faculty and
staff. This input was vital in making the best decision for Iowa State,"
Geoffroy said. "My final recommendation is based on a belief that allowing
Iowa State public safety officers to carry tasers will significantly enhance
the safety of everyone on the Iowa State campus, especially our students."
How this taser works
The air taser is manufactured by Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The device uses compressed nitrogen to shoot two small probes up to 21 feet.
The probes are connected to the taser by insulated wire. When the probes
contact the target, the air taser transmits electrical pulses along the
wires and into the body of the target, through up to two inches of clothing.
The result is an instant loss of neuromuscular control and ability to
perform any coordinated action. The effect lasts anywhere from a few seconds
to a few minutes.
According to the manufacturer, police departments at eight universities are
using the air taser. Hundreds of city, county and state law enforcement
agencies also use them and airlines are equipping flight crews with tasers.
Geoffroy also will recommend that DPS's "law enforcement division" be
renamed "police division" and its public safety officers be called police
officers. The name change was endorsed by the Faculty Senate at its Dec. 11
If the recommendations receive regents approval, Iowa State public safety
officers could begin carrying tasers sometime next semester. Officers would
go through extensive training on the use of tasers and receive retraining at
least every two years. The training includes a written examination, a
functional test and a firing test.
All DPS officers are state-certified peace officers.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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