How Often Are Stun Guns or Tasers Used by New Jersey Cops?
In the few years since New Jersey police departments were given the green light to purchase and use stun guns, the devices have been deployed 75 times, according to updated numbers from the state Attorney General's Office.
A total of 138 law enforcement agencies in New Jersey currently have stun guns, or Tasers, on hand, an office spokesman said Wednesday.
New Jersey became the last in the United States to approve the use of stun guns in late 2011. The first recorded police-use of a Taser took place on Nov. 4, 2012, in Hudson County.
The devices, used as an alternative to deadly force, can immobilize a subject with an electrical current that reaches up to 25 feet.
Since early March, cops in New Jersey have had less-restrictive stun gun guidelines that let officers deploy them in more situations — not just when they feel like their life is in danger. But it has not resulted in more frequent usage.
The Attorney General's Office points to the use of a stun gun in Long Branch on Mar. 18, as well as an incident in Englewood on Mar. 13, shown in the video below.
The cellphone footage captures a police officer using a stun gun on a man who became uncooperative during an arrest on Mattlage Place.
Stun guns are being used in all counties but Cumberland, Ocean, Passaic and Sussex.
Mount Holly police Chief Tom Mastrangelo hopes to have every full-time and part-time officer equipped with a Taser by the end of 2016. It gives his department the option to "save lives" by avoiding lethal force in certain situations, he said.
"This is a step in between," Mastrangelo said, noting that just the mere presence of a stun gun may deter subjects from resisting arrest or attacking an officer.
The department is currently in possession of several stun guns, but dozens more must be purchased in order to cover every officer.