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Cops, Tasers, and comp claims


Police in Durham North Carolina saw their comp costs fall by nearly half a million dollars by using Tasers, a local newspaper, the Herald Sun, reported this week.

That’s not surprising.

In 2003, I attended a Public Risk Management Assn. conference and heard a speaker discuss how police could reduce claims through effective communications.

Tasers, an electroshock weapon, can be an effective form of communication, the speaker said. Just show an otherwise combative suspect a Taser and there is a good chance they will think twice about resisting arrest. Often police don’t even have to use the Taser. Just show it to a suspect and they comply, the speaker continued.

That is what the Durham police learned. The number of times they have had to use force is down, as are officer injuries.

Fights involving suspects resisting arrest account for a large number of police injuries across the country. Since I heard that speaker in 2003, several police departments have also concluded Tasers help reduce comp costs.

In a story published earlier this month, the Phoenix Business Journal reported that the manufacturer of Tasers uses the potential reduction in comp costs as a selling point.