Cop Reprimanded for Self-Tasering

(by Steven Elbow )

11/12/2007

 

You’d think the offense would be punishment enough.

A Madison police officer was issued a letter of reprimand this month for zapping the officer’s own hand with a Taser, inadvertently sending a massive jolt of electricity through the officer’s body, police disclosed today.

The incident happened on July 31 when the officer, whose name and gender were not disclosed, discharged the non-lethal weapon during a checkout procedure. According to a summary of the investigation issued by Lt. Kristen Roman of the Professional Standards and Internal Affairs office, officers are required to make sure that no air cartridge is loaded before testing the Taser gun, which is done at the start of each shift.

The air cartridge is what forces prongs out from the Taser. When the prongs strike a target, electricity surges through them along attached wires.

The officer’s hand was injured in the incident, police spokesman Joel DeSpain said today.

The Madison Police Department regularly releases reports when officers are reprimanded, but to protect the privacy and reputations of the officers involved, often leaves the officers unnamed.

According to the summary, which was dated Nov. 1, the failure to ensure that the air cartridge was not loaded was a violation of Madison Police Department policy regarding the check-out procedure and constituted a disregard for safety.

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