Hornersville and Arbyrd police get new tasers for officer safety

HORNERSVILLE/ARBYRD, MO (KAIT) – Hornersville and Arbyrd police have implemented the use of tasers as another line of defense when responding to calls.

Chief of Police JoBeth Patterson says she wanted to increase the protection of citizens and the city's five police officers.

Arbyrd Police Chief Mitch Skelton and his three reserve officers rotate the use of a Taser X26C.

Chief Skelton is also a part-time officer in Hornersville and Cardwell. Chief Skelton and Chief Patterson say they had been lobbying for the past year for their officers to become trained and certified for Taser use.

City administration in both cities agreed after a deadly officer involved shooting occurred in Senath on January 13.

Dunklin County investigators say Gilbert Owens was shot and killed by Officer J. Gentry during a domestic incident after Owens threatened  Gentry with a knife while ignoring verbal commands and the threat of pepper spray.

The Taser X26C delivers an "incapacitating pulse that is designed to override the sensory and motor functions of the nervous system," according to taser.com.

Arbyrd officers had to sign a City Council approved ordinance that outlines acceptable use.

Acceptable uses as outlined in the ordinance include:

- "To incapacitate a combative or physically resistive person" whose conduct is threatening or an overt act of assault

-Or "when its use is likely to prevent an officer or a third person form serious bodily injury."

-Or "to incapacitate a suicidal person who can't be safely controlled with other force options."

Chief Skelton said the Taser X26C cost about $1,000.

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