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Weapons and Equipment Institute Receives $137,000 in Grants to Study Effects of TASERS, Other Less Lethal Weapons
3/24/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - The Weapons and Equipment Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University recently received two National Institute of Justice grants totaling $137,000 to study the effects of less lethal weaponry.

The field of less lethal weapons includes TASER, pepper spray, impact weapons, bean bag munitions and police dogs.

The first grant, for $100,000, examines over a five-year period from three Florida law enforcement agencies the effect of less lethal weapons on suspect and officer injuries in relation to escalation and de-escalation of suspect resistance.

A second project funded by a $37,000 grant evaluates the technology of TASER in comparison with a new electric weapon system called Stinger.

The study compares the functions of each weapon and determines the accuracy for each at different distances. The weapons and their cartridges are subjected to harsh environmental testing to determine their ability to function after heating, freezing, and immersion in water.

A focus group of law enforcement officers undergo training in both of the weapon systems that will include experiencing the effect of the electric weapon and providing information regarding the intensity and duration of the electric shock. The focus group also participates in structured interviews relating to ergonomics and confidence in each weapon.

In future research, the FGCU Weapons and Equipment Institute plans to obtain grants to study topics such as the evaluation of electric and chemical highway flares, evaluation of the 5.11 tactical vest as a less lethal weapons carrier, development of a prototype pressure point device, creation of a guide to less lethal weapons for school resource officers, infrared tracking system for law enforcement personnel, scent detection by canines in crime scene searches, comparative evaluation of less lethal technologies, and FGCU/UCF alcohol and drug intervention.

The FGCU Weapons and Equipment Institute was created in 2004 with a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Assistant professor of justice studies Charlie Mesloh is principal investigator for both grants.

For more information, media representatives should contact Mesloh at (239) 590-7761 or cmesloh@fgcu.edu.


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