Panel approves bill requiring stun gun training

Iowa law enforcement officials carry them around every day, but a new bill would require those officers to complete standardized training before being outfitted with stun guns.

A three-member subcommittee unanimously approved the bill and the senate judiciary committee is expected to take up the proposal next.

We spoke with law enforcement officials to see what they think about the proposed legislation.

“You know what it feels like and you’re not going to go out and keep pulling the trigger.”

“Knowing what this is going to do to an individual, it does make me thing before I’m going to shoot the individual with it.”

Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Deputies Brian Koob and Brent Schupanitz know first hand the body’s reaction to an electronic control device like a taser.

Both were certified through the   to carry tasers.

“It consisted of a written test as well as learn the device what all, how many volts it puts out and how it affects the body,” says Koob.

Part of the certification requires trainee’s to be subjected to the shock.

“I don’t want to do it again it just is not fun, it’s not something I’d like to go through again if I don’t have to,” explains Schupanitz.

That standardized training for tasers may soon be required for stun guns.

“The taser is going to be something that’s going to shoot the projectile so this cartage here will actually shoot out 25 yards the stun gun is going to be something in this nature,” explains Schupanitz.

The bill would require the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to establish rules for using the devices, and design a safety course that address when it’s appropriate to use the stun guns.

Deputy Schupanitz believes the training will be similar to what they went through to carry tasers.

“Mandate officers so many hours per year that we’ll have to provide to the state that we’ve been through the training, the Sheriff’s office does that for us here and requires it for  us at this level but the taser and stun gun are one in the same to me,” he says.

Lawmakers started looking at the issue of stun gun training after a stun gun was used on a woman with a mental disorder in Muscatine County Jail.

The Sheriff has maintained officers did nothing wrong.

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