Kauai catches up to rest of isles with Tasers
Police officials there hope the devices will increase compliance of suspects in arrests
Taser presence will be across all the state's police departments after Kauai gets theirs by June.
The Kauai Police Department is the only police department without electroshock guns, known and branded as Tasers. But by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the department will have 20 for its officers.
"What we'll do initially is our officers will switch during their patrol beats," said Kauai Deputy Chief Mark Begley. "We intend to train all our officers, starting with the patrol services bureau."
Although he did not have an exact figure, Begley said there has been an increase of resisting-arrest incidents and assaults on police.
"We have nothing that would compare to the Honolulu Police Department or the larger metro areas," he said, "but we have noticed an increase. Our goal is to gain a quicker compliance of suspects with the least amount of injuries."
The Kauai County Council appropriated $30,000 to purchase the Tasers this year. Begley said the department hopes to get more in increments over the years until all of the department's officers -- more than 120 -- are equipped. He said using Tasers would be safer than using police batons for officers and the suspects they arrest.
"When you're hit with a hard baton, it could take weeks to recover from a strike, depending on the injury," Begley said.