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  • Taser failures

    I was talking to a good friend of mine who works patrol with my department. He told me there have been several taser failures in the last month or so on his squad alone. One where he attempted to discharge the taser on a combative bleeding 5150 subject. The taser failed so he dropped it and went hands on (his partner was with him). The taser then deployed on it's own a few seconds after the officer dropped it. He went on to say they have had several failures, which I guess our department is looking into now.

    We joked that the taser were set by the factory to auto terminate once the newest model comes out (the X3). Anyone else seen or heard about recent taser malfunctions??
    Walking the line...all give some...some give all!

  • #2
    I haven't seen a malfunction, but on both times I was present when a Taser was used, it didn't work as hoped for. The first time, one of the darts missed. At the second one, it worked the first two times the suspect got shocked, but he fought through the third one - this was with an X26, with about a foot betwen the probes on his torso.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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    • #3
      Ive never had a problem with my taser ever, or heard of any around here.

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      • #4
        The type of failure that occurred in the first post was likely due to a loose battery....if the user does not pay attention and check, clean, etc., these types of failures can occur. You do have to maintain your taser just like your duty arm.

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        • #5
          Only used mine twice. First time was a drive stun and the second time was probe deployment. Both were EVENTUALLY effective. The first time I used the probe mode, one dart missed but the second cartridge took care of the problem.

          The only issue I had was human error and tihs occurred in BOTH scenarios where I deployed the Taser... We are trained when we spark test the Taser in the begining of the shift that we are to turn it on and as soon as it sparks shut it off, which is about a half of a second. Being used to this practice, I found myself turning the Taser off quickly after it was apparent I had made contact.

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          • #6
            I've never seen it fail. I've had mine replaced twice. Once it went off by itself and wouldn't turn off, the other time I used it and it wasn't recording correctly.

            It's bad practice just to drop a weapon. It didn't work for you but it might for the next guy. Retention is the key. Throw it back in the holster.

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            • #7
              My taser instructor while in the academy told us a story of when he was using his taser. He went to discharge his taser on a mental subject who was acting extremely violent, and it didn't fire. He then proceeded to hit the mental guy with the actual taser until he complied, worked just fine from what he told us. Now I have a backup plan in case it never discharges.
              In Memory of A Fallen Hero

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              • #8
                I understand that a lot of the taser malfunctions are a battery issue and a quick fix is a frequent "spark" test of the taser. I noticed that mine failed to fire, I also had not touched it in quite a while, I replaced the battery and I now check it daily before shift...no more problems.

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                • #9
                  I have had good and bad luck with it. The good times were hits to the upper chest and lower abs. It put the guy down like a rock. However....I tazed 1 guy with the same spread and he just looked at me, my partner then tazed him in the back with a perfect spread, top of the left shoulder and the lower right back. The supect turned and gave my partner a "got to hell look". The another Officer hits the guy w/ the 3rd set of probes, mid chest and hip. To this the suspect says, "ouch". Then the old polyester pile-on began. We got him into custody, but it was like a ride on Space Mountain. They are a good tool. but always, ALWAYS have a backup plan.

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                  • #10
                    Mine has always worked, but we had a guy who told his partner to get off the guy so he could tase him. Taser malfunctioned and didn't go off. His partner went back hands on, at which time the Taser went off and a probe went into his one of his joints in his finger and it had to be surgically removed. Not fun.

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                    • #11
                      I've had mine go into recycle mode on me once and instead of the display of numbers it just had dots flashing on the display. It only malfunctioned this one time, and the dozen or so times that I have actually deployed it, it worked very well on all different sizes of people.

                      HOWEVER, one trend that scares me in LE today is what I call Taser dependence. I've noticed many officers who have become complacent with hands-on techniques, even saying "I'll just Tase them." We have to remember that the Taser is electronic so it can and will fail, it's not perfect. Always have a back-up plan.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hooknbook View Post
                        I was talking to a good friend of mine who works patrol with my department. He told me there have been several taser failures in the last month or so on his squad alone. One where he attempted to discharge the taser on a combative bleeding 5150 subject. The taser failed so he dropped it and went hands on (his partner was with him). The taser then deployed on it's own a few seconds after the officer dropped it. He went on to say they have had several failures, which I guess our department is looking into now.
                        They are probably not test firing them enough. In the five times I've shot the taser it failed to instantly deploy once. In that instance, I turned it off then on and it fired. I had not tested it in a couple weeks when that happened. My battery seems to get cold after a week or so and it needs a test fire to warm it up a little.


                        I also have had to replace a complete taser when it was showing an error on the screen. I've seen several people carrying broken tasers in the field who are too lazy to get new ones from ops support.

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                        • #13
                          The Reason for the Spark Test Include:
                          To verify the TASER device is working.
                          To verify that the batteries are adequately charged.
                          There are components in the high voltage section of the M26 that are more reliable
                          when energized (“conditioned”) on a regular basis.

                          Taken directly from the user manual of my M26. The last sentance is what sends it home. it basically says you have to spark test it daily for the taser to work properly. Taser says it is more reliable doing the spark test on a regular basis so do it people!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thin Blue Line View Post

                            HOWEVER, one trend that scares me in LE today is what I call Taser dependence. I've noticed many officers who have become complacent with hands-on techniques, even saying "I'll just Tase them." We have to remember that the Taser is electronic so it can and will fail, it's not perfect. Always have a back-up plan.
                            or a flashlight like mine... streamlight sl-20!
                            www.darkwolfunderground.com/forum if you join you can see all the other good stuff on the forums. Do not enter if you are faint of heart-or don't like HARD training.... think.......strongman???

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                            • #15
                              I've never seen one fail to fire (we don't carry them so I have little personal experience with them) but I was present when an officer (from another agency) used his Taser. It fired, but one of the darts literally went straight sideways, nearly striking his partner. We couldn't figure out how it was physically capable of striking where it did. It was literally a perfect 90* from the end of the Taser. Not sure how it did it, but it was interesting.

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