Deputy Jason Fredricks of the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department, Montana, underwent an eight hour surgery last week to repair the injuries to his arms and shoulder sockets that he received during Taser training. Jason volunteered to be shocked with a Taser during inservice training. The Taser shock broke both humerus bones in his arms, dislocated both shoulders, and fractured his shoulder sockets. Jason, a sheriff’s office defensive tactics instructor, was not required to take the shock. He volunteered to lead by example during the training. Unfortunately, his display of Spartan leadership almost forced him into a medical retirement. During his initial medical examination, the doctor told Jason he would not be able to turn to police work.
However, the docs were able to fully repair Jason’s arms and shoulders. His doctors believe Jason will make a full recovery and, at some point, be able to return to full duty. According to Jason’s doctor, his humerus bones and shoulder sockets fractured lengthwise – a type of injury found only in victims of electrocution. The breaks were not caused by a freefall, but from his muscles convulsing from the electricity passing through his body.
The Taser (X-26) was sent back to Taser International for examination and testing.
Regardless of all the hype and propaganda about how safe the Taser is, officers and criminal justice training need to be aware that any device that incapacitates a person can’t be completely safe. You can tout all the benefits of shocking your officers during training, but not one of those alleged benefits are worth medical retiring out an officer decades before his time. Often when it comes to criminal justice training, common sense is not so common. My thoughts.