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Monday, July 6, 2015

Town raffles chance to Taser city official

For the price of a $5 raffle ticket, Van Meter in Iowa is offering its residents a chance to use a police Taser on a city official. City Hall is selling the tickets as part of a public safety fundraiser. The raffle winner will get the chance to use a Taser on City Administrator Jake Anderson or Councilman Bob Lacy at the Van Meter Fire Association Street Dance on July 18.
"I volunteered to be tased," Anderson said. A police officer will assist with the tasing, with the proceeds going to help the department purchase a second squad car, add speed radar and possibly expand its six-member part-time and reserve force. Anderson said the idea came up during a meeting with police about funding. "The joke was sort of, 'Yeah, let's tase the administrators. They make all the friends,' " Anderson said.
"I was like, 'Yeah, that's funny. Do you think you could raise some money?' " Lacy volunteered to add a little competition, and Anderson was glad. "I didn't want there to be a 100 percent chance I'd be tased," he said. Anderson said he's never been stunned with a Taser before, adding: "I imagine it will hurt." Police Chief Bill Daggart, a former Waukee officer, acknowledged he's never been subjected to a Taser either.
He said they're not that dangerous. Issues arise when someone has a prior medical issue or already is in a state of shock and the Taser prongs go across the heart, Daggart said. "Most officers will tell you they'd much rather be tased than pepper sprayed. The effects are so short, and it doesn't burn," he said. He hopes to buy Tasers for Van Meter's department once they've raised the $5,000 to $10,000 desired to expand the force.

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