POLICE Magazine

APR 2019

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22 POLICE APRIL 2019 SINCE THE 1990S, a group of ded- icated Los Angeles County Sher- iff's Department deputies have been testing less-lethal weapons to see if they would be effective for any of the department's missions, including patrol, corrections, and crowd control. irty-year LASD veteran Sgt. Timo- thy Klement now runs the program and operates it out of the department's Cus- tody Force Training and Standards Bu- reau. And he's been testing less-lethal products for nearly two decades. Which means he's seen and experimented with some really strange gadgets. Some of the strangest include a gun that fired a capture net and his least fa- vorite, a malodorant crowd control prod- uct. Klement is not a fan of either. His unit's testing showed them to be imprac- tical for LASD use. But the sergeant reserves his stron- gest criticism for using malodorant as a crowd control device. "e hope is the odor will cause people to leave," he says. "But the problem is decontamina- tion." e LASD realized very quickly that businesses and homeowners in Los An- geles County would not appreciate the police spraying a foul-smelling and long-lasting substance on their property. "It was almost dry heaves bad," Klement says of the smell. If Klement's comment leads you to believe that this LASD unit gains appreciation of the capabilities of new less-lethal tools by trying them on themselves as guinea pigs, then go with it because it's accurate. Kle- ment himself has often been the test target. "I have been hit by all the different Axon TASER products, including the XREP projectile," he says. He's also been hit with nets, projectiles, aerosols, and that stinky malodorant. e items the unit has tested so far for 2019 have been much more practical for the LASD's missions than some of the oddball items that were tested in the past. TASER 7 u Late last year Axon (www.axon. com) approached Klement about its new TASER 7 conducted energy weapon (CEW). e TASER 7 debuted at the International Association of Chiefs of Police show last October, and it features a new spiral dart de- sign and new electronic hardware. Axon says the spiral darts fly straighter and faster than previous TASER darts, and they also hit with double the kinetic ener- gy. "ey are designed to hit and stick and overcome clothing issues," Klement says. On the electronic side, the TASER 7 is a smart weapon that calibrates itself for more consistent output. Axon says the TASER 7 features new Rapid Arc Tech- nology with a refined pulse output that is both safer and more effective. LASD's testing of the TASER 7 is ongo- ing, according to Klement. He says the de- partment currently carries the X26, but it is considering a move to the TASER 7. PROJECTILE LAUNCHERS u Klement says some of the most effective tools in the LASD's less-lethal arsenal are projectile launchers, and the agency is always searching for better launchers for both patrol and corrections. Recent test subjects include: the Sage Deuce, the Pepperball VKS, and the FN 303. e Sage Deuce (www.sageinterna- tionalltd.com) is a double-barreled 37mm or 40mm launcher with an over-under design. Klement says he believes the dou- The Wrap from Safe Restraints is a multi- part system for controlling a resisting inmate. PHOTOS: L ASD g THE GUINEA PIGS A team of Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies tests less-lethal weapons and restraints, even letting themselves become the targets so that they can determine effectiveness. DAVID GRIFFITH q q q

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