New Study Says Tasers are Safe

HARRISBURG, AR -- A new study shows that tasers used by police officers right here in Region 8 are safe.  The use of tasers has been supported for several years, but many have thought the shock could cause permanent damage.

Poinsett County Chief Deputy Chris Holt said they've used tasers for about three years.

"I think they're one of the best tools to come down in a long time for law enforcement," said Holt.

Now a new study is out that shows the use of tasers is safe.

"I firmly believe they're safe.  I've deployed them numerous times on the street and in training," said Holt.

Neurologist Ron South says he feels tasers would not cause permanent damage.

"A situation like that one could temporarily have such symptoms as dizziness or confusion and of course the muscles would constrict secondary to being tasered," said Dr. South.

In fact, according to Holt, the injuries he's seen post taser are ''secondary injuries'' where the tasered person would fall because of the effect of the taser.

"It overrides your motor skills and it will shut down a combative subject quickly," said Holt.

The taser gun can be used from a distance where the electrodes shoot out to help control a suspect, or can be used ''dry'' directly against the person's body.

And from his experience, Holt said he would recommend tasers to other law enforcement agencies.

"Mostly it's going to save the subject or the officer from injury due to hand to hand combat during an arrest situation," said Holt.