Midland County Sheriffs happy not to use pepper spray guns

Midland County Sheriffs happy not to use pepper spray guns

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - As the saying goes, you never think about insurance until you have to use it. In the case of the Midland County Sheriff's Office they haven't had to use their new pepper spray guns.

"It's a good thing for us. I really think it is," said Sheriff Gary Painter, Midland County Sheriff's Office.

Recently, they haven't had to use the pepper spray guns, tasers, or even lethal force for that matter.

"I don't want the officers to be aggressive, that's the last thing I want to see happen. Sometimes you have to become aggressive to match the aggressiveness from the people we deal with," said Painter.

The Sheriff's Office got the pepper spray guns last fall. Sheriff Painter sometimes thinks about situations when they could've been helpful even before then.

"We've had to shoot 2 people that the taser didn't work on them. Shot multiple times with a taser didn't affect them.  They jerked the tongs out and they were still coming after the officers fighting them, hitting them. They wound up getting shot. Both subjects lived, but that encounter I would've loved to see what the pepper spray would've done," said Painter.

Sheriff Painter believes his officers have been trained properly and diffuse situations better where force like that isn't needed.

"Our goal is to keep the peace, that's our job. That's why we're called a peace officer," said Painter.

Keeping the peace and safety for the community, officer, and even the suspect.

"Don't want to see anybody shot, certainly don't want to have the officer hurt. Don't want to have the perpetrator hurt. In the same token, we're going to win and that's just the fact of life, it's going to happen," said Painter.

Sheriff Painter says the pepper spray guns are still in the test phase. The guns are similar to pepper spray but is 3 times stronger and leaves suspects down for at least an hour.

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