Deputy Devon Johnson with a Taser. (Submitted photos courtesy of St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office)
Deputy John Gordon with the target.
The weapons shown are Less Lethal Shotgun, the black one is a Taser, the orange weapon is the JPX OC “gun” and the yellow it is the Bolawrap.
Sheriff issues non-lethal devices
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz announced his deputies are now certified in the use of three non-lethal devices.
The training has taken place over the past month, he said in a news release.
“I saw a need to reallocate funds and grants to purchase additional options that are now available and issue them to my deputies for a less-than-lethal way to resolve a conflict,” he said.
The department was already certified in using pepper spray, batons, verbal de-escalation techniques, and other defensive tactics but these additional tools will help the deputies further resolve conflicts that might arise before a firearm is used, he stated.
The department has now issued additional Tasers used to cause motor dysfunction; the JPX OC Jet Defender that deploys pepper spray to the suspect at a further distance and is not affected by wind and rain; less-lethal shotguns that deploy bean bag rounds instead of bullets; and the BolaWrap that enables police to restrain subjects from a distance without inflicting pain by projecting a cord around their legs or arms.
Eddie Thibodeaux, director of Training and Professional Development and deputy chief, stated, “The less-lethal weapons when used responsibly by highly trained and certified deputies, can prevent and minimize deaths and injuries to suspects and themselves.”
The sheriff’s office was able to send and certify instructors in order to train their deputies as well as neighboring agencies at no charge, the news release stated.