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Hudson police have new weapon in their arsenal

Hudson Police Department officers have a new way to stop those who resist arrest or create a threat - the Taser gun.

The non-lethal-force weapon uses "electric muscular disruption" to incapacitate a target. The weapon, which looks similar to the kind of guns found in a video arcade, is loaded with a cartridge that holds two probes fitted with fish-hook-like darts. The probes are connected to the gun by wires and when activated deliver 50,000 volts of electricity to the target's body.

The current not only creates pain but also overrides the body's central nervous system, eliminating muscle control. The effect is instantaneous and immediately ceases once the trigger is released. The gun can be fired repeatedly with the same effect as long as the probes are attached to the subject.

The department has purchased three of the guns, and all 21 officers received training on the use of the weapon earlier this week. The guns will be part of the standard equipment in the department's three main patrol squad cars.

Sgt. Marty Jensen said that while 50,000 volts may sound lethal, it isn't, and the effects of volts wear off almost immediately. "What's dangerous when it comes to electrical current is the number of amps, not the voltage. The guns deliver high voltage but low amps. The volts can bring a grown man from his feet to the ground in seconds but once it's over, he recovers immediately."

Jensen said the weapon has proven to be an effective one for law enforcement, particularly in cases where suspects resist arrest or attempt to flee an officer. The weapon allows an officer to maintain a safe distance and yet subdue an unruly or dangerous subject. In videos supplied by the gun manufacturer, the weapon is seen as an effective tool in hostage situations, drunken driving cases and in efforts to prevent a suicide.

"It is just one more tool at an officer's disposal," said Jensen. "Something that when used correctly makes things safer for everybody."

For more information, call the Hudson Police Department at (715) 386-4771.

Meg Heaton can be reached at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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