Jasper, Tenn., police to upgrade outdated Taser equipment

Jasper, Tenn., police to upgrade outdated Taser equipment

October 17th, 2017 by Ryan Lewis in Local Regional News

JASPER, Tenn. — Tasers have become an important piece of equipment for law enforcement officers in recent years, and in Jasper it's time to replace the outdated equipment.

Jasper Police Lt. Scott Evans said each of the city's eight officers have Tasers, but the devices are 11 years old.

"We have two that have actually just died," he said. "They're no longer functional."

Evans said a recent test on one of the devices showed him it was time to replace them all.

"It cost more to repair one than it does to buy one," he said.

A five-year contract with Axon Enterprises Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz., would cost the department about $11,000 and provide eight new Tasers with a five-year warranty for each, 16 cartridges up front and an additional case of 50.

The last case Jasper police bought lasted about four-and-a-half years, Evans said.

At the October meeting of the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen, he asked the board for permission to enter the five-year agreement and offset some of the cost with $5,000 from the department's drug fund while financing the rest as a part of its annual budget at about $2,100 per year.

The equipment may be paid off early without penalty.

The board voted unanimously to allow the police department to execute its plan and sign the contract.

In other business, Alderman Josh Jennings said he wanted to create a beautification committee of citizens to meet with the board at a work session so that committee could be established officially.

Jennings first brought the beautification committee idea to the board in February with an formal resolution, but he said, "the one that I brought failed."

"One thing the committee cannot do, it cannot have authority to enforce any code or anything like that," Mayor Paul Evans said. "They could make recommendations to the board, and then we could look at those on a case-by-case basis."

He said the board would meet with the committee of volunteers at its next work session.

"It takes a village," Jennings said. "We're all going to have to work on something to make it happen."

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.