New Tasers on the way

The Clovis Police Department plans to order seven new and improved Tasers that can lock up a suspect’s body and prevent their movement for five seconds.

Police Chief Bill Carey said the department hopes to have seven of the $800-a-piece X26 Tasers within a month. The instruments are promoted for their ability to immobilize crime suspects without serious injury from within 21 feet.

The product shoots two probes attached to hair-thin copper wire that stick into a suspect like hooks in a fish, then sends about 50,000 volts of electricity through the body and disables a suspect’s ability to move body parts for five seconds.

“The advantage is sometimes we can arrest someone with less injury,” Carey said. “It’s a way to keep the officer from getting injured and the individual from getting injured.”
The Curry County Sheriff’s Department ordered 14 of the Taser X26s in March.

The Taser X26 is a newer version of the Taser M26, which is a heavier model that costs about $500.

Both products have come under criticism for not being as safe as advertised. Critics claim over 50 people have died after being hit with a Taser in recent years. Whether their death was caused by the shock has been debated nationwide.

Carey said the reports he’s read are clear the deaths were not caused by either the Taser M26 or the Taser X26 models.

Like many law enforcement agencies statewide, the Clovis Police Department is having difficulty hiring and keeping police officers on staff, Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey said.
There are six openings now at the city’s police department.
Carey said the department advertises every day for new officers, but the search has been ongoing for years and Sept. 11 has turned individuals away from entering public safety.

When uncertified officers do get hired and go through the required 48 weeks of training, they often leave for another department after a brief stay with the Clovis Police Department.

“The problem really is the applicant pool is not great right now for law enforcement anywhere in the United States,” Carey said.

Carey said interested individuals need 48 weeks of training before they become certified. Certified officers start out making at least $11.78 an hour. Carey said he’s searching for certified officers but will accept applicants from uncertified officers, whom the department will help train.

A Curry County Grand Jury recently indicted Harry Robbs, 41, on seven counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the third degree and one count of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor in the third degree.

The incidents date back to last year when police broke up what they described as a sex ring in which adults lured preteen girls into a Clovis home and molested them.
Robbs is being held in the Dickens County, Texas, detention center on bonds totaling $125,000.

He is accused of two counts of criminal sexual contact with one girl 12 years old or younger and five counts with another girl 12 years old or younger. He is also charged with attempted criminal sexual contact with another girl 12 years or younger.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ news editor Mike Linn. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or:
mike_linn@link.freedom.com