SAN ANTONIO – In 2016, Bexar County Deputies used their Taser weapons 67 times while detention officers deployed their Tasers 57 times inside the county jail.
Through October of this year, deputies on the streets have used their Tasers 61 times while detention officers used theirs 29 times, according to numbers provided by the Bexar County Sheriff's office.
Before deputies are allowed to carry a Taser, they must complete a daylong training class that involves time spent in a classroom and time spent going through a variety of scenarios that tests the deputies skills and decision making. Each deputy authorized to carry a Taser on duty must complete the same course every year.
As part of the certification class, several deputies volunteer to feel the effects of the weapon.
"We encourage them to take a voluntary exposure so that way they can know what it feels like," said Deputy George Barrera Jr., an instructor at BCSO's training academy. "So that they know exactly what they're doing to the person that they're applying it on as well."
At a recent training class, five deputies volunteered to be shocked as their fellow deputies looked on. When the weapon is used correctly, it creates what's known as neuromuscular incapacitation, or NMI. The electricity causes a person's body to stiffen for the five-second duration of the charge.