In order to make the streets safer for all parties involved, police in Alabama are now turning to less-lethal, alternative weaponry. Namely, a gun that fires pepper spray at 405 miles per hour.
Alabama is one of the most dangerous places to be a police officer. According to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Alabama had the third highest combined death rate per 50,000 law enforcement and corrections officers over a five-year period. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that there were 11.8 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses per 100 employees working in the police protection industry. The leading causes of fatal injuries, according to data from a nine year period, are assaults (38%), and vehicle crashes (37%). The leading causes for non-fatal injuries are strains and sprains (64%, 42% of which are back injuries).
In the case of these non-fatal injuries, chiropractic therapy can certainly help. Therapeutic Massage helps a person feel better by getting muscular tension out of the body. Chiropractic spinal manipulation has been found to be a safe and effective spine pain treatment, which reduces pain and can decrease the need for medication, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
However, an ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure. Rather than seek out ways to treat injuries, police in Alabama are looking for ways to prevent their officers from getting injured, and have found non-lethal weaponry that can be more readily used in a wider variety of situations.
“The aggressive use of available nonlethal weapons early in standoff confrontations predictably results in fewer and less severe injuries to suspects and officers,” reports Greg Meyer, a retired Captain from the Los Angeles Police Academy, for PoliceOne.com. “When you use your nonlethal weapons properly, you will see a tremendous decrease in injuries to officers and suspects, reduced personnel complaints, reduced liability in lawsuits, and an improved public image for your law enforcement agency.”
According to WIAT, a new device that fires pepper spray at 405 miles per hour is growing quite popular amongst police forces in Alabama. The Cordova police are already using the pepper gun, while Sheriff’s Deputies in Morgan County and Madison County are trying them out. Multiple South Alabama agencies have also expressed an interest in the pepper gun, too.
Although tasers are an effective, non-lethal weapon, they may not be an option in some situations.
“With a Taser and other products like that where you have to have the probes actually stick in the person, in jails there’s been issues where people swing towels around to avoid being hit with the probes,” Justin Partridge of pepper gun manufacturer Cold Fire Defense tells WIAT.
The new device uses gunpowder to shoot pepper spray at 590 feet per second as far as 23 feet away. Though nothing solid comes out of the barrel, the impact of the spray is twice as strong as other formulas, requiring a minimum of five feet to fire. If an officer fires the gun any closer than five feet, it could pose a threat to the target’s health.