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Buchanan County Sheriff's Department Debuts New "Stun Cuffs"

A new tool to make sure inmates in special circumstances are kept in line is just about ready to be implemented.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Buchanan County Sheriff's Department has a new piece of equipment that's aimed at keeping inmates in special situations from getting into disciplinary problems.

Most inmates at the county jail are familiar with handcuffs.

Capt. Jody Hovey said the new Stun-Cuffs offer added safety in the jail.

"It's definitely a lot safer for the officers, so if the inmate wants to start fighting you, you don't have to go hands-on," Capt. Hovey said.

Stun-Cuffs are strapped to the ankle or the wrist, and then hidden under clothes.

Deputies in Buchanan County can use a remote control to send a shock straight into an offender's extremities, at a range of 100 yards.

"It'll be used for court appearances, special court appearances, transport from other states if we have to fly with the inmates," Capt. Hovey said.  "You can put them on them so you don't have to have them cuffed and shackled on an airplane."

Stun-Cuffs can send 80,000 volts straight into an arm or a leg; and all inmates who require them will be told just how powerful they are before they're strapped on.

"It's a very effective tool," Capt. Hovey said.  "It affects the muscles of the body and it doesn't really affect anything else.  Every one says it affects your heart, and it does not.  What it does really is it just sends a charge through the body that locks up your muscles."

Hovey says most inmates would rather fight multiple officers than face a taser gun.

But a taser that's strapped on?  He says that is all the more reason for them to mind their manners.

Capt. Hovey says there's still a few bugs and kinks to work out before the technology can be fully implemented.  He hopes to get that going as soon as possible.

Right now, Buchanan County only has two of the cuffs, at a total price of $2,200.
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