SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A new Taser alternative has weapons designers buzzing with excitement.
“You see an ocean of green. You don’t see people walking, you don’t see distances of shadows, you just see a green wall of light,” said Ryan Vattis of Non-Lethal Defense Solutions. “You’ll be like a deer in headlights.” | Video | Photo Gallery
That’s how designers are explaining this new law enforcement device that can incapacitate a subject by blinding them with a green laser beam.
Vattis said the device is more efficient than a Taser because it can be used on groups of people, it can stupify a subject, and it can prevent unnecessary uses of more lethal forms of force all while causing no harm to the individual or group.
“These devices cannot blind you from one meter and beyond,” said Non-Lethal Defense Solutions CEO Christopher LaVere. “That’s 3 feet. There are no side effects.”
But law enforcement officials are skeptical. Springfield Police Department information officer Sgt. John Umenhofer said the traditional Taser serves its purpose and that products which claim to be non-lethal can result in death in extreme circumstances.
“We’ve seen non-lethal items like beanbags that have hit people in the eye and killed them,” said Umenhofer. “It all depends on circumstances.”
Umenhofer said that law inforcement is always open to new ideas but they have to do extensive research before any new device hits the streets.
“With any of these products you want to learn how effective they are and how they can be used and also if they don’t work what to do next,” said Umenhofer.
Eugene police use Tasers but declined to be interviewed for this report. One official said they are aware of this Taser alternative but didn’t want to speak publicly on it until have they fully researched the device and its effectiveness.