The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 5, 2013

Donations fire up budget; SW police buy 8 new Tasers

FARRELL, WHEATLAND, SHENANGO TOWNSHIP — Southwest Mercer County Regional police patrolman Matthew Langdon aims his Taser, two laser beams dotting his target.

He pulls the trigger and two barbs attached to 35-foot cords rocket from the gun, lodging in the ceiling of Farrell council chambers.

“I’ll figure out how to get those out later,” he tells the Southwest police commission.

Langdon is demonstrating the differences between the new Tasers police bought with a series of donations and those they replace.

Tasers, which deliver electric shocks to incapacitate people police are trying to arrest or control, have changed police work since they came out some years ago.

Southwest Police Chief Riley Smoot Jr. said Tasers have increased the safety of police and those they arrest because they give police the chance to subdue someone who doesn’t want to go quietly without having to use muscle.

“Tasers have saved the department injuries, which saves money as far as workers comp,” he said.

As with any piece of equipment, there is a useful life, and the Tasers Southwest police had been using were getting long in the tooth. However, money has been tight for the department.

“It’s kind of hard to budget for these items that you need, especially when you can’t really increase your budget from year to year,” Smoot said.

Thanks to four social organizations, Southwest has eight new Tasers. The Slovak Home, American Legion Post 160 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5286, all Farrell, and American Legion Post 432, Wheatland, all gave the department money so it could buy the Tasers for $13,748.

John Galicchio, president of the Slovak Home, said philanthropy is the club’s “main goal.”

“We always help out locally,” he said. “We just helped the (Farrell) firemen with their helmets.”

The group runs small games of chance and must donate 70 percent of the proceeds to charity, he said. Other beneficiaries have included Little League and high school seniors through a scholarship fund.

The Slovak Home was made aware of the need for Tasers by some of the policemen who are club members, he said.

Smoot said he is “ecstatic” about the donations.

“It keeps us where we should be as far as equipment is concerned,” he said. “It keeps us in the same century.”

Without the donations, “We would have struggled to buy one and it probably would have been an old one,” Smoot said.

“These are blessings to small departments,” he said of such donations.

The new Tasers can shoot one or two cartridges at a time; have laser sights for both cartridges; can “arc” – deliver an electric shock directly from the device to the body of a suspect – while the cartridges are loaded; and are not set off by static electricity, all advances on the old models, said Langdon, who trains the force in the use of Tasers.

“Improved technology,” he told the commission.

With firm tugs, the barbs released their hold on the ceiling. The police aim for clothing when they fire a Taser, and always have medical personnel remove any barb that penetrates the skin, he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014