JSO upgrading stun gun devices with new models

Upgrade will cost $2.5M but will save money in long run, JSO says


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A big resource upgrade is coming to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, as the department replaces all of the stun guns that officers use with newer models.

JSO said that the current electronic control devices, or Tasers, are due for replacement, which will be done at  a lower-financed cost because the department is spreading the payments over five years.

The cost will be more than $2.5 million, but the  upgrade will save money in the long run, the Sheriff's Office said.

The department will replace the stun guns for all sworn officers and assigned corrections personnel, with no interest on the total purchase.

“It makes sense to do this, because the Tasers they are using are the same Tasers I was using when I was at the Sheriff’s Office, so they are at least 10 years old,” News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said.

JSO will purchase 2,630 new devices at a cost of $969.60 each.

That comes to a total cost to the city of $2,550,048.

JSO spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith said that purchasing all of the devices on the five-year payment plan is “a substantial savings from an outright purchase of a smaller quantity, and with no need for subsequent purchases for upcoming years for the existing inventory.”

“Safety of the public and the officers is always the top priority,” Smith said. “So if the Tasers are 10 years old and they have more efficient Tasers, it’s best to do that, especially if they are going to be saving money in the long run.”

After recent police-involved shootings, many have called for the department to invest in body cameras for officers, but the Sheriff continues to maintain that the cost of purchasing and maintaining the cameras is still too significant.

“He has to figure out his priorities, whether it’s pay raises, Tasers, body cameras,” Smith said. “Hopefully he can do two if not all three. But it’s just going to take a lot of money to satisfy everyone.”