New Tupelo police chief ends up on wrong end of a Taser

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo training officers who went through taser training certification Tuesday learned a painful lesson after being hit with 50,000 volts of electricity.
Experience is the best teacher.
Police Chief Tony Carleton, along with a few training officer had to get shocked with the taser in order to complete certification to be able to teach other officers to use it. Before an officer is able to carry a taser they first must to complete certification, which means feeling the effects first hand.
Despite having gone through the painful experience as a member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Carleton decided to go through it once again with his officers.
After being shocked into submission of five seconds, Carleton jumped off the floor just as quickly as he’d gone down after being hit with 50,000 volts.
With the prongs from the device still stuck in his back, Carleton said to the officers, “If I can take it anyone in the public can it.”
It’s definitely a shocking experience, but one that will save lives and prevent the injuries or my officers and suspects,” said Carleton. “Safety is our main goal and these devices will help to do that. So I just want to say to the public don’’t fight my officers. Cooperate with their demands so everyone can be safe.”
The department has already started purchasing tasers and it’s unclear if all the patrol officers with eventually carry them, but Carleton said he is preparing the officers to be ready to train with them.
Scott Speaks is one of the officers who will be administering the training and was the first officers to be hit with the taser Tuesday.
“The feeling of being hit with that 50,000 volts is one you can’t describe,” said Speaks as he watched another one of his colleagues go down from the shock. “This is going to be a great tool for the department. It is really going to prevent some injuries and even deter some crimes.”
Officers already carry their firearms, a night stick, and OC spray on their utility belts and adding the taser could cause and equipment overload. But Carleton said either the night stick or the OC spray will not be carried.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com