The 86th Security Forces Squadron is deploying a new tool to the streets of
Ramstein that’s used by law enforcement officers throughout the Air Force — the X26 Taser. Considered an electronic control device, or ECD, the X26 provides a less lethal use of force option for SFS patrolmen.
“That addition translates to a greater degree of public safety for the Ramstein community and its law enforcement officers,” said Lt. Col. Michael Florio, 86th Security Forces Squadron commander.
ECDs such as the X26 are used to immobilize actively non-compliant offenders. The X26 deploys two small probes that penetrate clothing, delivering 50,000 volts of electricity, causing a subject to momentarily lose voluntary control of their muscles.
More than 100 independent studies have shown that while not risk free, ECDs are among the safest use of force alternatives available, representing a significantly lower risk of injury than traditional hands-on police tactics. ECDs also do not carry the lethal potential of certain baton strikes.
“Because it fires a projectile, the X26 also allows the officer a degree of stand-off distance,” said Master Sgt. Dennis Gates, 86th SFS training NCOIC.
Agencies deploying ECDs such as the X26 have seen dramatic reductions up to 83 percent in the injury rates to their officers.
When considering all these factors, the use of an ECD actually reduces the risk of injury both to the police officers and to the offender, ensuring a quick resolution to threats against public safety and security.
Taser International, the manufacturer of the X26, has also developed
advanced technology for officer accountability. Each X26 will electronically track every time it is used to ensure a record exists in any case of suspected excessive force.
“Law enforcement professionals undertake a potentially dangerous job and face many tough decisions regarding the safe use of force,” Sergeant Gates said. “The X26 is another tool in the 86th SFS tool box that will help better protect the Ramstein community.”