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Missaukee County Sheriff’s Deputies Now Equipped with Tasers

Most law enforcement carry tasers on their belts to diffuse arrest situations that may otherwise escalate more quickly.

But sheriff’s deputies in one Northern Michigan county had never used them, until now.

The Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office has gone without tasers for years.

But now, they say tasers are an essential step in their line of defense.

“We want to prevent, we’ve never had one here, a shooting with a firearm. So this is one more thing,” Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher said.

Bosscher says the climate is changing, and he wants his deputies to be prepared.

“We’ve had several scenes where we had some very physical struggles with some people when they were trying to be arrested. Especially those that were under the influence of synthetic drugs.”

If someone isn’t complying or responding to physical force, deputies can display a taser.

They haven’t actually used their tasers since getting them this summer, but just showing people they have them has already made a difference.

“One of them was a domestic where a person was believed to have a gun inside. He eventually came out without a weapon. He was very aggressive. When the weapon was armed, right away he complied.”

There are several steps leading to the taser’s deployment; red laser lights help with aim and a warning sound lets people know the taser is ready to go.

Officers got eight hours of training on the tasers, and they consider several factors before using them.

“The totality of the circumstance is the size of the offender, the age, the sex, the size of the officer, the number of officers present, weapons. A whole lot of circumstances that dictate how it went,” said Michigan State Police Sergeant Eric Sumpter.

Now every deputy on the road has one, giving them one more resource before a gun gets involved. 

“We tell people if you don’t comply, if you don’t listen, you will be tasered, and this will hurt. Those are all things the courts like to see, that we give people ample warning,” Bosscher said.

The 14 tasers cost about $20,000 — $7,000 of which was provided by the Michigan Municipal Risk Company.