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Police Stand Behind Use Of Tasers In Wake County Schools

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APEX, N.C. — In two days, school resource officers tasered two high school students in Charlotte. And, according to court records, there was a close call at Middle Creek High School in Wake County on Tuesday.

The officers at Middle Creek started carrying tasers this past spring, and most students at the school know the resource officers carry a taser.

"It's better than carrying around a gun; and if a situation gets out of hand, it's probably the safest way to handle it," Middle Creek senior Maggie Poske said.

Officers with the Cary Police Department said they believe no officer in a school in their district has ever had to use a taser.

But court records show 16-year-old Stephen Person was arrested for profanity at Middle Creek on Tuesday, and that prior to the arrest the officer warned he would use the taser.

In Garner, at Garner Magnet High School, there have been two incidents where school resource officers have used a taser.

"It's extremely effective," Walter Myer, of the Garner Police Department, said. "Last year the school reported a 25 percent reduction in fights."

Though the incident at Middle Creek is still under investigation, Cary police said they stand behind the use of tasers in schools.

"It's not always a perfect system. Not all weapons are the best for every situation," Sgt. Jerry McCormick, of the Cary Police Department, said. "But oftentimes, we can deploy the weapon without having to worry about the officer or the suspect getting hurt."

Stephen Person's mother said she believes her son was treated fairly. But, she said, she does not believe tasers should be used in schools. She said she would have been upset if the taser was used on her son.

The Wake County Public School System is still investigating the incident and would not comment.


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