NORFOLK, NE — “Tasers are a tool, a tool that has to be used judicially.”
Those are Norfolk Police Chief Bill Mizners words.
In 2009 The Norfolk Police Department joined other law enforcement agencies in the taser movement. Chief Mizner says tasers are an essential tool in their line of defense. It protects the officers as well as the offender. Mizner talks about an incident in particular a few years ago where a man stabbed a woman multiple times.
“The individual was standing there, he was ordered to drop the knife. He wouldn’t drop the knife and started raising it. The taser was then deployed and again worked as it was suppose to and we were able to take him into custody without injury. That is what we want to see done…”
Had they not had a taser, Mizner says use of deadly force would have been justified.
Since 2014, Norfolk police have deployed a taser only 11 times. The largest number of deployments was in 2011 with nine taser deployments, which also includes animals.
“In the last three years in 2014 we utilized the taser four times and one time on an animal. In 2015, again, four times. In 2016 we used the taser two times total, and so far this year we have used it one time.”
Mizner says since then they have seen a reduction in deployments. He says tasers can even save lives in some scenarios.
“It greatly reduces the likelihood the individual will be injured, it greatly reduced the likelihood our officers will be injured if they don’t have to go hands on and wrestle someone down and physically take someone into custody.”