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Today law enforcement agencies throughout the United States use non-lethal weapons on the job Less-than-lethal weapons are defined as technological devices to stop and disable armed dangerous and violent subjects without resorting to the use of firearmsDemsey Non-lethal weapons have mainly been used in on-the-street confrontations like hostage rescues prison riots suicide interventions and civil disturbances These less-than-lethal weapons have been used the most when lesser force can suppress the aggressor when lethal force isnt appropriate and if lethal force could cause collateral damage to property or bystanders Although there are some draw backs to these new weapons like a false sense of security and strength they tend to be better then hand to hand combat or traditional non-firearms like flashlights or batons In 1972 a conference was held by the Attorney General and the National Science Foundation to discuss alternatives to lethal weapons Prior to the US Supreme Court ruling to limit the use of deadly force against felonsHart in the Tennessee Vs Garner trial In 1987 the US Army Chemical Research Development and Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Grounds began testing the capabilities of chemical darts At this time the research was concentrated on the use of the darts only until 1992 when the National Institute of Justice expanded research to include all possible non-lethal weapons There are six general categories of less-than-lethal weapons that currently exist or are in development electrical shock chemical impact projectile physical restraint light acousticHart TASER is an acronym for Thomas A Swifts Electrical Rifle which is a high voltage low amperage hand-held projectile firing gun On impact it pulsates current by a wired dart that can reach its target from up to fifteen feet away and penetrate up to two inches of clothing causing temporary incapacitation The TASER only puts out a low number of watts so its not harmful to subjects with pacemakers and also cannot be modified to produce a lethal charge The most well
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