Potsdam police deployed Taser once in past year, chief says
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 4:56 pm

By CRAIG FREILICH

POTSDAM -- Since village police first acquired Tasers for patrol use a year ago, they have been used once.

Potsdam Police Chief Mark Murray reports the first and only use of a Taser by village police in the year since the department acquired the devices in the fall of 2016 was in connection with an alleged resisting arrest charge in August.

A patrol responded at 10:38 p.m. Aug. 8 to a report of a disorderly male in a parking lot between Raymond and Depot streets downtown.

“Patrol arrived on scene and observed the listed defendant acting disorderly in a parking lot on Raymond Street. When patrol attempted to place him in custody he physically resisted,” the police report of the incident said.

The nature of his disorderly conduct was described as “unreasonable noise.”

Shaun C. Deon, 27, of Potsdam, was issued tickets for disorderly conduct, a violation, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

He “physically resisted until compliance was obtained,” said Murray.

In this case, “voluntary compliance was obtained with the Taser” and no escalation was required, Murray said.

After the failure of a verbal demand for compliance and a hands-on attempt at getting custody of a suspect, the Taser is the tool of choice, Murray said. If a Taser were not available, the next alternative would have been use of an aerosol such as pepper spray, he said.

“I don’t think any officer is satisfied when they have to use force,” he said.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

“As a deterrent, a Taser is a highly visible tool for a uniformed officer,” the chief said. He said his understanding is that “there seems to be more compliance” when a Taser is visible on an officer’s belt.

Deon appeared in Potsdam Town Court Sept. 6, but the case was not resolved then. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 6.