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SALTSBURG: Council OKs Taser training for police force

by ELLEN MATIS ematis@indianagazette.net on July 02, 2013 10:50 AM

SALTSBURG — Saltsburg Borough council approved the implementation of two Tasers for their police force Monday, at a price not to exceed $4,000.

“That is including the training,” said Police Chief Gary Walker. “Everyone here will have to be trained. If they haven’t ridden the wires, they will have to ride the wires.”

That means that all Saltsburg Borough police officers will have a Taser used on them as a part of their training.

“We don’t get shot with the probes, we put one on the collar instead of touching your skin and one on the belt, and every muscle of your body locks up. It feels like there’s a thousand people inside of your skin trying to beat their way out.”

One officer on the force is a certified Taser instructor, and will be leading the training for the force. Training cartridges will be supplied as part of the training.

The Tasers have a door, Walker explained, that explodes when fired. Two probes fire out of the door connected by copper wire. One probe shoots level, while one probe shoots at an 11-degree angle.

“The farther away you are, the more widespread they are, the more they work,” he said, explaining that the shock is greater when the separation of probes is greater.

In addition, council was offered three bids for the removal of trailers on property it acquired in May. The property is an abandoned trailer park on Pine Way. At last month’s meeting, P.J. Hruska, council president, said that the property could be used in the future as a playground or park area.

The first bid was by two individuals, Arthur Mc-Guire and Bryan Bonatch, for the removal of all eight trailers at $2,500. The second was by Michael Meagher, of Homer City, at a bid of $375 per trailer, and he would remove all eight trailers. The third bid was by A and A Construction, of Saltsburg, at $4,500.

Concerns about the trailers were addressed by Walker, who says that “the trailers are never in the same condition” when his officers check on them. He suggested to council that they be secured immediately.

In addition, council discussed the removal of power lines to the trailers.

Council Vice President Kathy Muir motioned to “accept the lowest responsible bid,” in regards to the bidders showing proper insurance. Each bidder will have to provide documentation of insurance before council will proceed.

The council voted to close Point Street on July 11 from Salt Street to Marble Alley for the Saltsburg Lions Club’s Point Street Auction. The annual auction will take place outside the Lions Building at 220 Point St.

According to a press release, a preview of items begins at 4 p.m. and the auction begins at 5 p.m. with auctioneer Julie Dunmire. The club is accepting donations, excluding clothing.

In other news, council:

• Accepted the resignation of Jeffrey Shondelmyer, a full-time borough worker who Hruska says has “moved on” to police work.

• Approved a permit for the demolition of a garage at 707 Water St. that was also OK’d by the Saltsburg’s Historical Architectural Review Board.

• Made a donation of $50 to the Saltsburg Football Boosters to provide updated and efficient equipment for their players, according to a letter the Boosters sent to council.

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