Citizen police recruits undergo Taser training in north St. Louis County

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The North County Police Cooperative is putting on a Citizen Police Academy. Each week, recruits learn a different aspect of the job.

Tasers are just one way that officers can subdue a suspect.

On Thursday, North County Police Cooperative’s Citizens Police Academy learned the situations in which a Taser can be used.

“An act of aggression is the key. If they are actively resisting the arrest or detainment,” said Sgt. Lynn Woodard, North County Police Cooperative. “What if your suspect does this? What am I grabbing? I don’t know.”

Sgt. Woodard says the Taser fires for five seconds at a time and the device records each usage. Some volunteered to experience its effects.

“The Taser is something that no one wants to do. They tell you to stop, stop. It’s no fun. It’s no fun at all,” said Marilyn Hamilton, a citizen recruit.

Some say the biggest shock they’ve gotten from the Citizens Police Academy is that it’s changed their perspective.

“These guys are putting their lives on the line because they want to be heroes. They want to be here to help the community,” said Joseph Lee, a citizen recruit. “I am going to put my foot forward to let everybody know that they are out here doing a good job and they need our help. They can’t do it by themselves. They need our support.”

“Every one of the Citizens Police Academy recruits are residents that live within the municipalities we police. This gives us some great exposure with them to show what’s going on,” said Major Ron Martin, assistant chief with the North County Police Cooperative.

Officers say you don’t need a special license to purchase a personal Taser in Missouri.

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