Allen Park police zap new officer on Facebook
Allen Park — Allen Park police Wednesday welcomed a new officer to the department by using a Taser on him — while streaming it live on Facebook.
Jim Wilkewitz, chief of Allen Park Police Department since 2013, said the exercise, and its broadcast online, serves two purposes.
One, it acquaints officers with a tool they will carry into the field. The five-second jolt of electricity is "not pleasant," said Wilkewitz, who has been zapped himself and said he would not volunteer again for the experience.
Two, it's a good deterrent for would-be criminals, Wilkewitz said.
For about the last 15 years, since the department started carrying the "less-lethal" weapon, officers have been allowed to opt-in to experience the Taser.
"There's no better way to do that than to experience it yourself," Wilkewitz said Tuesday. "It's not pleasant. This isn't something to deploy if you don't need to."
The Taser operates in five-second bursts, and each time the electricity is used, that data is recorded.
"It's a system that provides great accountability," Wilkewitz said. "A baton does not."
The department has about 40 sworn officers, said Wilkewitz.