CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Borough police officers will be carrying tasers on patrol in the near future, according to Chatham Borough Police Chief Brian Gibbons.
Gibbons gave a presentation at the regular meeting of the Borough of Chatham Council on Monday night, explaining how the "conductive electrical devices" will be used.
Gibbons also gave a brief history of the devices and noted that New Jersey was the last state in the nation to approve the use of tasers. New Jersey first set a policy for the use of tasers in 2010 and revised its policy in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
Chatham Borough originally was set to purchase the Axon X-2 model, which Gibbons showed to the council on Monday, but is considering the newer and more accurate X-7 model for about the same price.
The purchase of the tasers already has been approved and built into the capital budget. Gibbons said the department is looking to purchase 10 tasers at a cost of approximately $24,000. There is no additional annual cost to the purchase other than replacement cartridges, which power the electrical current.
Chief Gibbons gives a brief history of the taser in his introduction below.
Gibbons explains that the taser causes neuromuscular incapacitation through an electrical current that paralyzes the subject for a short period of time (see the video below).
Chief Gibbons reported that statistics showed that there is a high reduction of officer injuries with the use of tasers in the video below.
Chatham Borough police using the tasers will take an online course through NJ Learn. receive training from the Morris County Sheriff's Department, go through manufacturer training and department training before being allowed to carry a taser. The taser automatically sets off a camera recording whenever it is used.
So far in Morris County, tasers are used by the Florham Park Police Department, Morris Township Police, the Morris County Prosecutors Office, and the Morris County Parks Department. Joining Chatham Borough in the near future will be the Randolph police, according to Gibbons.