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Laurel City Council approves new Tasers, ammunition for police department

At the virtual mayor and Laurel City Council meeting on Sept. 14, the council approved the purchase of 60 Tasers for the Laurel Police Department as well as the purchase of ammunition.

Chief of Police Russell Hamill made both requests. The first was for $42,705 to purchase 60 upgraded Tasers “to outfit everybody on patrol.” Many of the department’s current asers are obsolete, he said, and are various colors, from yellow to dark. The new, bright yellow tasers would put everyone on the “same page” and “prevent any chance of confusion between a Taser and a firearm.”

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Tasers are weapons that fire coils that attach themselves to their target and deliver stunning electric shocks.

Hamill’s second request was for $45,000 from its ammunition budget to purchase ammunition for officers and to conduct the necessary “training exercises to maintain efficiency in use of the various weapons that we deploy in the police department.”

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Both requests were approved by all council members.

The department also recently introduced new 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in its department’s fleet. While the department’s current vehicles are white sedans and white utility vehicles, the new vehicles are black with gray-scale graphics, including a replica of the Laurel police badge.

The new vehicles also include improved cameras, a new mobile data terminal system and improved prisoner transport technology.

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