St Johns County Sheriff’s Public Information Sergeant, Chuck Mulligan, informed local Historic City News reporters that an air TASER, or other electronic incapacitation device, has provided deputy sheriffs with a less lethal alternative to shooting since 1999.
Although controversial because of their absolute stopping power, law enforcement agencies have embraced devices like the X26E TASER over other available responses to resistance — such as a baton.
“Our deputies are authorized to employ one-step above any act of aggression encountered in the performance of their duties,” Mulligan said. “Like with all other approved defensive or protective measures, continued training is an ongoing process.”
The agency pays about $800 for each X26 TASER. The standard ammunition used with the X26E TASER system, is an extra penetration cartridge with a maximum range of 25-feet that costs about $25 to replace.
About 30-35 times a year, there has been an incident where a TASER is deployed. Each case where a deputy must use force “greater than the use of handcuffs”, Mulligan reported that a “Response to Resistance Board” must review details about the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office owns about 300 of the electronic incapacitation devices which are assigned to qualified officers in the St Johns County Detention Facility as well as the patrol division.