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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Citing a concern over possible injuries, the city's police department has banned officers from being shocked by stun guns during training.

The department had wanted trainees to feel the Taser's effects since getting the weapons in 2002 through December.

''Personally, I feel you can experience that by watching videotapes,'' Police Chief Alan Rodbell said.

Critics say the weapons, made by Scottsdale-based Taser International, may have contributed to numerous deaths nationwide.

Phoenix prohibited officers from receiving the 50,000 volts of the Taser after two trainees were injured.

Scottsdale decided to change its Taser training policy so as not to injure an officer, said Sgt. Mark Clark.

The city's police officers are still required to be pepper-sprayed during training because they need to know how to fight through the effects when it gets sprayed in the field. Clark said Scottsdale has 120 Tasers available but only a few are carried on the street at a time.

The department expects to train all of its 370 officers with Tasers, he said.

Bud Clark, a senior master instructor with Taser International, said police should be shocked because ''it gives officers confidence in the product.''

Stun guns are designed to temporarily paralyze suspects with a jolt that can be delivered by the tip of the unit or from two barbed darts that are fired

But law enforcement officials throughout the country have been moving to restrict, and in some cases ban, the use of stunning devices in their departments.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International have recently called for a moratorium on all stunning devices.

Taser International defends the devices, saying they do not generate enough electrical current to stop the heart and blaming the deaths on intoxication or health problems exacerbated by police chases.
 
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