Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don’t Tase me, bro

Belligerent drunks, beware: The Saratoga Springs Police have a tool to herd the ebb and flow of bibulous revelers down Caroline Street. The Post Star reports four Spa City officers will now carry the infamous electrode-firing handguns marketed by Taser International, the self-proclaimed “proven leader in less lethal technology.”

These weapons deliver an electrical punch to the nervous system of “violent offenders” through either a 35-foot-long projectile or through the gun itself, if the projectile is removed. Physiologically speaking, getting nailed with a Taser is a more painful way to reboot one’s nervous system. Those fortunate enough to experience the thrill of brushing into an electric fence, grabbing onto a live wire or sticking a digit into an active light socket can likely relate to the sensation of being “Tased.”

The difference is that a Taser projectile embeds into the body and delivers 50,000 volts of energy at a rate of 19 pulses per second every time the trigger is pulled; far longer and far more juice than one is likely to get grasping onto a split wire or an electric fence. The other main difference is that a sadistic cop can be on the other end of this device, gleefully pulling the trigger whenever he or she feels like getting a few jollies.

Advocates claim Tasers are “less than lethal” weapons and save lives by preventing cops from using more lethal forms to bring a subject under control. They also claim Tasers prevent officers from close-quarter engagement with a violent subject, thereby preventing them from sustaining injuries on the job.

In truth, Tasers can be lethal. In fact, the weapon has a dubious history of being connected with “apparent drug overdoses” when used against people high on stimulants or narcotics. In other words, it’s generally not a good idea to send enough electricity to stop a cow through the heart of some guy freaking out after a cocaine bender. Taser International vehemently denies their weapon contributes to these deaths –one recorded just about every week –and stridently lashes out against any source that tries to link their product with death.

Deaths aside, the real problem with Tasers is that most law enforcement agencies don’t have a concrete rule governing their use. Taser International calls the folk being shot with their weapon “violent offenders.” But what exactly categorizes someone as a so-called violent offender? Is this someone who breaks a traffic law and then punches his steering wheel after getting pulled over by a cop? Is it the drunk on Caroline Street who won’t obey a police order to move along? Is it anyone in a crowd that won’t disperse?

There have been numerous reports of Taser use at times when less than lethal force was needed. In some instances, the weapon has been deployed in cases where no force was needed: Against a pair of protesters ceasing an order to disperse; shot at a man as he was fleeing through a second story window; et cetera.

Technically speaking, the Taser is supposed to be used as a last resort before lethal force is used. Some circles place it above the use of pepper spray when it comes to degrees of force. Yet when faced with the decision of which to use, officers usually decide it’s better to shock a subject into soiling his or herself than to be washing errant Capsaicin spray from their own face.

It remains to be seen how Ed Moore’s boys and girls will wield these weapons when faced with throngs of belligerent drunks this summer. However, it is disturbing that only “a number of them” volunteered to be “zapped” with the weapon, according to the Post Star. In most departments introducing the Taser, getting nailed by one is a prerequisite so officers understand the degree of pain and discomfort it causes. Without this knowledge, pulling the trigger on the X26 is a pretty easy thing to do.

On a somewhat related note, the Post Star suggests more than one local reporter is interested in receiving a volt from these guns, but have had their overtures thwarted by Assistant Police Chief Chris Cole. This is a prime example of the retarded nature and mindset of today’s reporters; spend half the afternoon trying to fulfill every cop’s wildest wet dream. Seriously, does this look like fun?

But if you’re a member of the media and still think it fitting to get hammered by one of these things, here’s an exercise for you during the coming weekend: First, get yourself lubed up with a few dozen gin martinis and maybe a quick hit of speed. Then take to Caroline Street around midnight and see which of your fists fit best in the ear of a Taser-carrying cop. Chances are pretty good you’ll get a taste of the good stuff; maybe even a Paul Amato-style beating. Just make sure you’re allowed a wireless device to transmit the story from city lockup.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tasers, and their use and far more frequent misuse, is a moderately complicated topic. For this reason I've started a website / blog to provide the space to fully explore the issues.


10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of cops are either power disordered or sadistic or both. I think we should be very careful about giving them another weapon. My guess is that cops are more likely to use "non lethal" weapons to control people or to punish those who might resist them. Cops will also lie to protect themselves and are almost always protected by the courts and the DA's office. I'm not saying we shouldn't have any cops on the street but we should carefully screen who we give these weapons to. Any cop carrying one should have to experience the effect and those with a history of frequent aggressive encounters should be excluded.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, completely off topic, but since you bring up the Post Star . . . The Saratogian is ringing in the new year by increasing their subscription rates 18% for 2008. If you call to ask what's up, they freely volunteer that "Corporate" won't let them send a letter to everyone. Instead they sneak it in, especially if you have made the mistake of giving them your credit card number. You get your bill and Surprise!

Meanwhile the Post Star has a special rate for people in 12866 or 12020, half the 2007 Saratogian rate.

I'm not into pimping and have no relationship to either paper, but when someone tells me I can get better quality for less than half the price, and I can stick it the pompous souls on Lake Ave, it's a pretty easy call.

I can't wait to see the next round of circulation numbers.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can’t wait to see the withering vibrating drunks wallowing in agony like fish on a dock come this summer. Ye Ha boys what a great place to live.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish the city had those tasers a year ago. Then we could have used them to put a jolt into a certain droning, flat-lining city official that acted like she was being disturbed from a deep sleep at the council meetings.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if tasers were used in Saratoga, you would never hear about it. I love that the police report in the papers are filled with arrests in Ballston, Schaghticoke, Greenfield, etc. but not Saratoga Springs. When the owner of Vincenzo's Salon was brutally beaten (to the point of being air lifted from Saratoga Hospital) there was no mention of it. They would love to believe these things don't happen here in Saratoga.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe they will taze some of the McTygue boys still on the DPW payroll that are trying to undermine the operation!

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that are trying to undermine the operation!"

Try taking the keg out of the tool room then reinstate the random drug and alcohol tests. Maybe then Skippy slugs will get their ass in gear.

You’re starting to sound like Bush blaming everything on Clinton.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skip hasn't hired any of those McTygue leftovers. They have that union protection that makes it hard to get rid of the McTygue dead weight. And oh yes they are undermining the operation. Did you expect any different? These idiots still think he is (MCTygue) in charge. Ignorant people were hired by Tommy so he could control them. As for Tazing them it wouldn't effect these already braindead McTygue supporters.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tazing is the answer. No guns! No night sticks! I just think this is more expensive toys for our boys in blue. Although the idea that the DPW workers were tazed by Tom McTygue isn't surprising. Whatever way he can control his boys necessary. Watch for this soap opera in that department to take shape. McTygue was known to mettle when he lost the election to Brian Dwyer years ago. Skip will be smarter than that and McTygue will not succeed with the undermining this time.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the potential DPW Tazed zombies of the past and present:

Tony Fisher
Tony Fischette
Bubby Pierce
Mike Lander
Bo Kilmer
Tom Robbins
Henry Smith
Jim Brophy
Flo Wheeler
Stephanie Voight
Willie McTygue
Dick Bendon
Johnny Wine
Millie McCroy
Mike Hamel

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Skip hasn't hired any of those McTygue leftovers."

Doesn't matter who hired who. The Skipper now has responsibility for the productivity and ultimate costs of operations in the DPW.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the little organ grinder can’t seem to get a grip on DPW. So what does it do blame Tommy. Sounds remarkably like George Bush when he took over the White House him and his puppets {Rush Limbaugh} blamed everything on Clinton. Maybe the real problem lies in the fact Skippy is an idiot. Pat Design is just a smiling fool who stumbles around shaking everybody and can’t get his head out of his ass. Again is this Tommy’s fault. Rome burns and the Emperor blames Greece.

PS. As far as I know Tommy sunbathing in Florida so how is he the Problem

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’d like to see you tell that to Tom Robbins face you gutless toadie. I’ll tell you something when you need a heavy equipment operator you want someone who knows what their doing and not some smiling baboon.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this was about Tasers but the McTygue haters just can’t let go. First dog catchers don’t have a lot of experience running a City Dept. second Pat Design is nothing but a two faced rat who has a lot of broken down cronies who need a nice cushy DPW job and a fat retirement to go with it.
The only way for Design to pad the city payroll is to get rid of some union protected DPW workers so they hatch this little plot. Fuck everything up blame McTygue dream up some bullshit charges against long time employees and then hire our own loyal scrum,
Nice try moron but it won’t work Skippy’s career at DPW will be even shorter than his ill-fated career at the Board of Supervisors. In a few years we’ll look back at these two years of disrepair in the city and shake our heads in disbelief. An organ grinder and his pet monkey running DPW who would have believed it possible.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, did anyone else notice that snow removal has deteriorated since the new DPW leader took office? Our street was basically glare ice for several days after the last storm with nothing done at all until the sun took over. Maybe it has something to do with the election signs we had up until they disappeared one night.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 5:59
wow, let go of the anger buddy. i haven't heard anyone mention that scirocco couldn't get a grip on the dpw. someone was only bringing attention to the fact that he made a bunch of dubious hirings at the end of his term. if you couple that with his notorious behavior it isn't a far stretch to suggest that making bad hirings at the end of your term isn't for the betterment of the dept...
however to the contrary. things have gone well in the first few weeks. the streets have been clear, and the employees are working. now such anger really clouds any logical thought whatsoever. first, beside the fact that a comment like "he's a dog catcher" shows that you're beyond living life out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, where the dog catcher chases spike around with a net, while you attempt to demean the guy and try to portray him as an idiot the only thing you're doing is demeaning yourselves. what kind of 30 year incumbent can't even beat the dog catcher? who's more of an idiot? if you can't beat the dog catcher you must be one sad pony yourself.
secondly, i remember mctygue saying he didn't want to change the charter because with a full time mayor, the opprotunity for the average guy to run and participate in city gov't would be diminished. why is experience so important now? because you have the most? so now we're supposed to believe that the dept of public works is so hard to run that only one guy can do it. if that was the case then why not support the idea of a full time mayor who hires a professional to do the job?
and here's a little news for you... people are already looking at the disrepair left from the previous watchmans neglect.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want to talk about DPW Deadwood how about Lew Benton's brother Greg. McTygue protected that drunk for 25 years if anything Lew should be thanking McTygue for carrying that drunken slugs ass for all those years.

If you see Lew and he coherent [something rare these days] ask him how he likes being investigated on the federal Hatch act violations, then to realty piss him off tell him McTygue says hello from sunny Florida. Now Benton knows what its like to be investigated for bullshit.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"An organ grinder and his pet monkey running DPW who would have believed it possible."

Something tells me you don't think much of Skippy and Pat.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"things have gone well in the first few weeks."

The organ grinder and his pet monkey are the ones complaining they can't get a grip.

"why is experience so important now?'

Talk to the merchants on Broadway about how snow removal has sucked this year.

"what kind of 30 year incumbent can't even beat the dog catcher?"

One that has a pants dropping shyster lawyer from the DEC on a crusade against you and the local bird cage liner running libelous stories about you.

On the contrary I like Skip I am sure once he is defeated he will have a long and successful career grinding away on some street corner. The city needs street performers just not in the capacity as dept heads.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“he made a bunch of dubious hirings”

I will be the first to admit McTygue hired some real idiots; Pat Design and Greg Benton immediately come to mind. I have no doubt that Skippy has a long list of illiterates that need a job holding up a shovel. But the fact they he can’t seem to figure out the snow doesn’t belong in the streets or city owned parking lots doesn’t bode well for the city.

Ps. A warning about Pat Design never turn your back on a dog that bites his owner. He fucked McTygue, Skippy the minute he thinks your vulnerable he’ll fuck you to.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure how this went from tazers to snow removal but - oh well. New Years Eve day snowstorm was still under the "old commander" and the snow sat untouched between the Collamer and Algonquin building until a woman fell. Now don't you think that with First Night looming large the snow removal would have been a priority? All kinds of functions going on at the city center and the north end of Broadway sat untouched. So please don't say that snow removal has gone down hill. It was bad before. No posting for streets. Down to one lane on Broadway. Yep - it was never good.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Deal! McTygue's in Florida! Good Riddance! Probably living large on all that money he fucked taxpayers out of for all those years. Not to mention kickbacks! He's down there sucking up sun but he better head farther south than that because FBI,AG and DEC are coming soon! Talk about cushy jobs. What about that dueche bag giving his brother Billy a 120,000 a year cake job?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the streets in Florida are nice and clear of snow now that Tom McTygue is there! My Hero!

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:27 "...all that money..."

Could you be talking about the Public Safety Department, that buys an inoperable ambulance, at the same time trying to figure out how they can add bricks, mortar and manpower to their department and when an unfortunate fire occurs, whines out a statement about the inadequate size of hydrant mains.

How long have they known of this “inadequacy”? 20,30,40 years?

How many times has the City inventoried and flushed water through it, noting if this indeed were a potential liability and concern?

In “Building for the Future”, why didn’t their Department Manager prioritize the water supply limitations of city hydrants if, that is truly a problem?

Fires rarely happen, and thankfully this time, no one was killed or seriously injured – the results probably had less to do with water volume or for that matter and more importantly, team response and professional training. Our investigators will carefully analyze what went wrong, but I’ll bet that not having “more water pressure” for this two-story house won’t be the critical factor to its partial or complete loss.

From the paper photo, it looks like the thick plastic and insulated foam house wrap provided the perfect duct up the outside wall into the attic and roof ultimately destroying this building. When was the last time our code investigators inspected this 4-unit apartment house?

Too bad this loss has to be politicized as an opportunity for more complaining. For a fire that the Chief stated, “was burning unnoticed, undiscovered for quite a long time” it would seem that more water volume for this two-story building wouldn’t have saved much more for the demo crew.

Our fire fighters did their job, containing the fire and controlling it to one structure and that is a good thing. The residents escaped yet the loss of housing and personal property is unfortunate. Perhaps complain about the flammable siding that became the accelerant for the "smoking materials".

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"FBI,AG and DEC are coming soon!

The wetdreams of a deranged and bitter Keehniac,

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To NIXIM follower code named "Dickweed"

McTygue will never be indicted. Its more likely the Govenor will be indited before McTygue.Spitzer broke more Laws in 6 month then McTygue did in 30 years.Enjoy your wet dreams about McTygue. In the end all you have are the rantings of a former Mayor and her very strange husband.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A certain poster -- I dont know if it is Anon 5:26 or not -- keeps harping on Ms Incompetent's hubby.

Specifically, this person has made allegations of a certain legal problem back in his former state of residence.

Ok , bud: her's your chance. Whatcha got?

And I'm not talking an unfounded allegation---I'm talking proof.

Lets hear it. Once and for all.

Please, Webmaster--if he replies with that allegation but no backing for it, don't give him the thrill of having it published.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want me to spell out the allegations against Mr.K here they are

1. They left Wyoming after Mr.K was charged with public exposure.

2. After relocating to New York state Mr.K has had to be shuffled around various offices of the DEC after several “incidents” of lurid behavior were reported involving Mr.K.

3. The incidents were taken care of “inhouse”

4. I guess New York State doesn’t like to air its dirty laundry in public.

These accusations are well known in many quarters of Saratoga.

If Keehn hadn’t been such a Dick about McTygue’s so called affair with Stephanie Voight, which she had the gall to allude to in a City Council meeting her husbands perverted hobbies would not have been made public.

Why are the two similar? Because there is no concrete illrefudable proof of either one. So don’t cry to me about Mr.K, people with a past like his should be more careful were they throw stones. The truth has a way to come back and bite you on the ass.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:26 is the one that has been harping alright! of course anon 7:16 is the same nitwit! I hate to say I told you so but yes indeed McTygue did it! Once again! Those fire hydrants were fucked up for ever. Another fine McTygue job!

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"McTygue did it!" He was smoking on the back porch and set the fire.
Then he fucked up the hydrants. Get
a life Chief, its an old town the fire dept knows what to do the home was fully in flames when they got there. So go check on your wife I heard McTygue did her to.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have to worry about my wife but you ought to worry if he did yours. McTygue has jumped from wife to wife. Mostly with those closest to him. You are apparently close to him so watch out! If you want proof, why not ask McTygue's wife who has been putting up with this shit for ever.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:41 PM said,

"indeed McTygue did it! Once again! Those fire hydrants were fucked up for ever."

Those 4 inch water lines are probably older than 100 years. The city is full of them. To get the right pressure needed to fight fires they should be upgraded to an 8 inch line.
We are talking about spending mega millions.
But this is a perfect example of prioritizing where our tax money must be spent.
You can spend all the money you want on new police stations and new fire stations and if the water is not there when you show up to a fire your basically fucked.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't have to worry about my wife"
Your right McTygue doesn't like to stand in line.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point is these hydrants that McTyglits followers that were employed by him knew for years that they were non operational but he failed to fix them. If these were bad why Tommy why didn't you fix the fucking things?

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...9:36 AM

"I don't have to worry about my wife"
Your right McTygue doesn't like to stand in line."

Horatio, give this guy the knock-out award comment of the week.

This guy knows how to verbally bitch slap stupid responders.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McTygue will be standing in line when his prison sentence is handed out. 6 counts will land him in the slammer soon! DEAD MAN WALKING!

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“McTygue will be standing in line when his prison sentence is handed out. 6 counts will land him in the slammer soon! DEAD MAN WALKING!”

All right Tazmanian Devil for that sophomoric comment go back to the end of the line before you can do Manie wife. This isn’t a NXIVM meeting.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tazmanian devil is right about this one! If, or more likely when, these charges come to light, Tom McTygue is a Dead Man Walking!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yada, Yada, Yada,

You guys are brain-dead walking.

For years Tommy has been telling anyone that would listen that there are serious problems with our infrastructure.

Pressure testing these old 4 inch city lines is relatively simple. However, fixing them is going to cost mega millions.

As usual, out of sight out of mind.

If you take that 17 million those idiots want to spend on the new police palace I am sure that many of these insufficient water lines could be replaced.

And maybe when the firefighters show up to the next fire they won't be wasting valuable time hooking up hose lines up to useless fire hydrants while our homes are burning to the ground

It's all a matter of priorities.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:17 is no more than a drunken fool from the american legion by the name of John Tighe. Also known as BS Tracker,Bluedog,Vanguard and Tazmanian Devil.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breaking news BS Tracker is a fraud. This is not the real BS Tracker this is a Keehniac imposter. They have hit a new low even by there standards.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public safety and the FD should, and probably does know the hydrants that have flow issues because of the small water mains.

The question to ask is if the FD has a tactical plan in place to immediately get to a larger main. So that they can get enough flow and pressure in all areas of the city to fight a fire.

If not, upgrading the water mains should be a higher priority than a police station, fire house, parking garage and new water pumping station from Saratoga Lake.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...1:08 PM

"Public safety and the FD should, and probably does know the hydrants that have flow issues because of the small water mains."

I hope you are correct. It would seem to be a no-brainer for them to have this information at their fingertips.

And I would think that if in fact that this information was being kept that there would be a paper trail so it should be easy to verify.

I am not sure of the facts concerning the fire on Grand Avenue but I did hear that time was lost hooking into hydrants that didn't have pressure.
If this is true and the city is failing to monitor water pressure it would seem that this could result in unnecessary injury, death and property loss and put the city at a very high liability risk.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

House fire exposes hydrant problems Firefighters struggled to get water to Jan. 23 blaze in Saratoga Springs By DENNIS YUSKO, February 4, 2008

``It's come to the fore because of that situation,'' Cogan said. ``So we have entered into discussions with the Department of Public Works to evaluate our systems to mitigate any issues.'' Another option is grading the hydrants and marking the back of them with their capacity so firefighters will know when they arrive on a scene which work the best.”

It seems to be more of a coincidence that the fire chief is now acting on the obviously overlooked and neglected problem of insufficient water pressure in our fire hydrants. It’s too bad it took the interaction of bloggers on i-Saratoga, “Don’t Tase me, bro” dated Thursday, January 17, 2008 to bring this “situation to the fore”. Luckily no one was injured or killed.

With all of the money that Saratogains pay for fire protection it would seem that we would not have to bear the liability of such incompetence. When these same guys need shiny new fire trucks or fire stations they sure are vocal enough. But having enough water pressure doesn’t seem to raze the same emotion up until now.

Oh well, better late than never.

It is quite interesting and satisfying to see a difference being made by your news articles and the discussions that follow on i-Saratoga and (dis)Utopia of Saratoga Springs.

So, Ben and Horatio, congratulations are in order to both of you for providing a valuable service to this community.

4:50 PM  

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