JEFFERSON — Halftime of the Sept. 13 football game between Saydel and host Greene County will feature a shocking display, albeit one serving a civic purpose.
The first Tuesday of August is generally the date set by police departments nationwide for their National Night Out celebrations, meant to foster cooperation and good will between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
The Greene County Peace Officers Association and the Jefferson Police Department were unable to arrange celebrations this year and instead will offer a Taser demonstration at Linduska Field.
Taser is the brand name of a less-lethal conductive electrical device manufactured by Axon. The tool is not classified as non-lethal as death can occur in rare circumstances. The device fires two metal barbs attached to insulated copper wire. The maximum range for police models is 35 feet. Designed to penetrate clothing and skin, an electrical charge is delivered, temporarily disabling the target.
Ten community volunteers have stepped forward as part of a fundraising effort to serve as the one eventual “victim.”
Jefferson Police Department Captain Heath Enns stressed that all 10 people volunteered, that the police were “not about to just randomly subject someone to being tased.”
A donation box, along with photos and the names and occupations of the volunteers, has been placed in the Jefferson Hy-Vee. Each volunteer is assigned a number, and donors can make a gift in an envelope, noting which number they choose to see briefly rendered helpless. The volunteer with the highest donation total will be chosen. All have signed a waiver agreeing to be Tasered if they receive the most votes.
All 10 will appear at Linduska Field, with Enns announcing the “winner” just before the demonstration. Enns is the Taser demonstrator for the Jefferson Police DEpartment.
Volunteers and their assigned numbers are as follows:
- Emily Gannon, Greene County High School At-Risk Liason
- Zach Beekman, Greene County Middle School Special Education/coach
- Scott Johnson, Greene County Elementary School Principal
- Brian Phillips, Greene County High School Principal
- Tyler Westhoff, Greene County High School Physical Education/coach
- Chris Deal, Deals Orchard
- Carl Behne, Greene County Medical Center C.E.O.
- Simeon Lang, owner Game Changing Performance
- Jamie Daubendiek, Jefferson Telecom C.O.O.
- Andy McGinn, Jefferson Herald
Funds raised will be used for a variety of community enrichment programs, of which the popular “Shop With a Cop” is one example.