Hackaday.com has webbed up a “TASER-proof” clothing project. The suggested mod is to use carbon-fiber strips in garments to make them “100% taserproof.” By inserting iron-on CF tape strips between layers of cloth, the space-aged material will allegedly conduct electrical energy from a TASER or stun gun away from the clothing’s wearer and into the CF strips to be dispersed without result. Skin penetration by the probes is supposedly rendered ineffective as well.
Gee, it is too bad that modern law enforcement officers do not train to transition to other less lethal options when their CEW’s are ineffective. Oh, wait a minute… We do! This geek-inspired Hackaday Internet invention is a great reminder for all sworn officers that when something is not working on a suspect, then we immediately transition to an alternative. There are many tools at our disposal.
For example, my agency had a particular frequent flyer with generous amounts of body fat upon whom the TASER X-26 seemed to have a limited effect. But this guy hated pepper spray. Here is a no-brainer. At the next confrontation, Pshhhhhh! Problem solved.
Let’s go old school. Baton strikes, to a perpetrator’s approved areas, have worked for decades (really since man invented club) before rocket scientist Jack Cover harnessed conducted electricity to subdue suspects with minimal force and injury. Empty hand techniques such as palm heel strikes, knee strikes, joint locks, takedowns, and transporter moves are also at the ready. And there are dogs and beanbags.
A suspect who is committing a crime while wearing protective equipment, whether a bulletproof vest or TASER-proof garment, should/must expect police officers to escalate their response levels, so enter at your own risk. There are enhanced penalties for those who commit crimes wearing bulletproof vests and masks. This would be another area for legislative action.
The mastermind who posted the “taserproofing” mod commented, “It’s strange why taser has such an imperfect design (I mean a real taser, not a stungun), from which so easy to defend …” I will admit that the TASER has not always worked for me, but it is a device that attempts to minimize injury to suspects and officers. In that area, it is effective more often than not.
As long as we remain vigilant and train, then technological innovations designed to defeat our methods only serve to make us stronger, safer, and smarter as a profession. I say bring them on.