By Emma Nortje
A handful of students volunteered to be tazed as a part of the biannual student police academy Thursday, February 4.
The academy is focused on teaching students some of the skills and tactics that police officers use in the field. Volunteering to be tazed was one of the ways in which students were given a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a trained officer as well as the individual on the other side of an officers’ actions.
“We had three of them [students] here today that got voluntary exposure that are going to become officers here [Georgia College],” Eugene McKinney, a Patrol Sergeant with Public Safety, said. “It’s really good for them to be able to… know what it feels like before they actually utilize it [a tazer] on the street.”
“I’ve been having nightmares for a week.”
Samantha Davis, senior Criminal Justice major
While the experience was voluntary, for the three students who were hired to become officers getting tazed was an implied requirement.
“Working with GCPD, we all carry tazers and so we have to get a certification,” Shelby Hatcher, a Criminal Justice graduate student, said.
Leading up to the big moment, some students like Hatcher weren’t too worried because of reassuring rumors heard from other officers. Others felt the stress of the anticipation long before the event.
“I’ve been having nightmares for a week,” Samantha Davis, senior Criminal Justice major, said after going through voluntary exposure. “I’m not lying… It’s been really taking a toll on my whole week.”
Luckily, once the five-second round of 50,000 volts running through their body was over, many of the volunteers felt nothing more than a slight tingle of lingering electricity running through their body.
“As soon as it’s over, it’s over,” Joshua Braumuller, senior Criminal Justice major, said.
Thanks to the opportunity presented to students by public safety, Hatcher, Davis and Braumuller are now certified to become officers with GCPD. For those who attended the academy for purely educational reasons, they are now better informed on how and why the police department does the things it does.