Police News

Naples, Fla. – The Collier County Sheriff’s Office settles two TASER cases in Federal court. In the latest case, where officers used their TASERS on a handcuffed man, the department agreed to settle for a sum of $95,000. One day earlier, the same department agreed to pay a settlement of $50,000 to the family of a teen who died after being shot with a TASER.

Milwaukee, Wi. – Deputy Scott Krause has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for punching a handcuffed man in the face. The suspect/victim was seated in the back of Krause’s patrol when the assault took place. The officer claimed he has post traumatic stress disorder and didn’t remember punching the man.

Muncie, Indiana – Rocker Ozzy Osborne and his son, Jack, each donated $4,500 to the police department’s K-9 program. The department used the money to purchase “Ozzy,” their new K-9. Ozzy will take the place of an older dog that is set to retire. Jack Osborne had worked at the department as a reserve officer during the filming of a reality TV show.

Pasdena, Ca. – Attorney John Burton says he has proof that TASERS can cause cardiac arrest when fired directly onto the chest area. His source? A 2006 report from TASER stating, “being hit by a TASER is unlikely to cause cardiac arrest, but nevertheless recommended TASER darts not be fired near the heart to “greatly reduce any concern for induction of ventricular arrhythmias.”

Some medical experts have said a direct shot over the heart area can increase the subject’s heart rate from a normal 60-80 beats per minute to as many as 220 beats per minute, for a short period of time.

Many police officers who’ve been shot with TASERS as part of their training claim the device does not cause any heart trouble. However, these exercises are conducted in a controlled environment. A more accurate test of the TASER would be on police officers who’ve been drinking alcohol and/or using illegal drugs, such as crack cocaine. After all, those are the people, the substance abusers and addicts, who seem to be experiencing the trouble, not strong, healthy, sober police officers.


Chicago – A woman who was chatting away on her cell phone struck and badly injured a state trooper working a traffic stop. The driver also ignored pleas from her passenger to move over for the trooper. The driver was charged with aggravated reckless conduct, a felony. Her bond was set at $50,000. The trooper, a mother of a young child, was placed in intensive care with a shattered pelvis and two broken legs.

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Writers’ Police Academy

* Please, please, please register for your hotel rooms! They’re going fast, and I’ve only managed to secure a limited number. There are several other large events in the area the same weekend as our event. The hotel will not bill you for the room until check in. Remember, the hotel is providing free shuttle service to and from the airport, and to and from the academy. They’re also providing free breakfast for registered guests who’re attending the Writers’ Police Academy. All that for a mere $79 per night. I’ve never, ever seen a deal like that at any other writer event.

If you’ve already registered for your room, but neglected to ask for the WPA deal, please call the hotel to make the change. It’s very important that you do so.

* Important Notice – We are very, very close to reaching capacity for the FATS training. So close, I can actually see the last seat in the class. Please register now to reserve your spot!

7 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Elena – I turned to my good friend, Dr. DP Lyle for answers to your question. Here’s what he had to say:

    The two devices are similar in that they apply electrical current to the body but at different forces–for lack of an easier term. Electrical physics are too complex to discuss and not necessary but the relevant terms and their relationships are Watts, Volts, and Amps. Te formula is Watts = Amps X Volts.

    A taser is measured in volts and this typically ranges from 20,000 to 150,000. But this current is applied at avery low amperage–maybe 3 milliamps—or 3/1000s of an amp. Also it is applied in pulses that are measured in milliseconds—thousandths of a second. Lastly, the force mainly runs between the two poles of a stun gun and the two barbs of a taser and some of the current leaks–again for lack of a simpler term– to the rest of the body. This is the part that brings the victim to his knees. So it is low amperage and delivered in very brief bursts. This makes it fairly safe and only rarely does it effect the rhythm of the heart.

    A defibrillator’s output is measured in watts and they deliver 400 watt/secs of current. This is 400 watts for one second. This is more energy. Also the paddles are placed in such a way—usually one to the right side of the chest near the sternum or breast bone and the other to the lower left chest—that the current runs more or less directly through the heart. This is what snaps the heart back into rhythm if a life threatening arrhythmia is occurring.

    I know this is complex but the two are apples and oranges—same family but very different.

    In a pinch and if a defibrillator was not available but a taser was and I had someone in cardiac arrest I’d shoot them with the taser. Might not work, probably wouldn’t, but in this case you would grab for anything.

    I hope this is clear and helpful.

    D.P. Lyle, MD
    Website: http://www.dplylemd.com
    Blog: http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com
    Stress Fracture, a Dub Walker Thriller, Coming April, 2010

  2. SZ
    SZ says:

    Love the Ozzy dog pic !

    I agree with tasers over guns. It was a surprise that San Francisco vote them down last week.

  3. Elena
    Elena says:

    Lee, I am curious about any connection between tasers and various forms of manual external defibrillators. I haven’t been able to find information about how much alike they are.

    One consistent thing about defibrillators is that they are never placed on the heart because it could kill you. It also appears that the measurable shock is much lower than for a taser.

    And, of personal importance, my heart doctor told me that when I started dying in the ambulance with congestive heart failure that it was a good thing they did not have defibrillators because using one on me would have been extremely likely to have killed me.

    Which leads me to feel that potentially the use of a taser under the stress of apprehension needs to be much more rigorously examined.

  4. Terry
    Terry says:

    The pictures also don’t show what it feels like to get out of the car at the observation point on Mt. Haleakala, walk up five steps from the parking lot and not be able to breathe. Arriving from sea level Florida, the 10,000 feet was a bit much. We looked at the “short” two point something mile loop walk, then at each other and shook our heads. Maybe if we had all day.

    My daughter, who lived in Albuquerque for several years, said, “There’s plenty of oxygen up there–just not enough air pressure to get it into your reb blood cells.”

    Either way, we were definitely oxygen deprived.

    And I hear you — the flight from Florida’s no picnic either. Not as bad as the one to South Africa, but both were worth it.

  5. Carla F
    Carla F says:

    The pictures are gorgeous but they still don’t do it justice. I got off the plane in Maui and took one sniff of the sweet, clean air, and decided I was never going back to NY. Unfortunately I did, and I still regret it. I didn’t get to see Molokai when I went; definitely something to think about for the next trip. And oh yes, there will be a next trip. 🙂 It was 12 hours of flying from NY but it was worth it.

  6. Elena
    Elena says:

    Wow – no wonder people can’t wait to go back there – what incredible diversity of terrain and flora, probably fauna too. Thanks Terry 🙂

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