Monday, July 14, 2008

Pope Patrol Distracted

Usually the news is all bad but here’s a good news story that instantly brightened my day.

ABC reports - Elite officer hurt guarding Pope

A police officer from the Tactical Operations Unit protecting the Pope was injured during a patrol by a piece of his own equipment, believed to be a stun-related device. He was taken to Westmead Hospital, where he has been treated for a laceration and a fractured finger.

The story was published early morning. A few hours later in a follow up article the headline "Elite officer" had been down graded to "Pope patrol officer"

With assistance from the Police Special Spin Unit, the officer's injuries had also been reduced to "minor burns" and it was now reported "he was preparing for duty"

Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Owens says the officer accidentally activated part of his equipment. He says it was a "distraction device" but will not go into further detail.

You're not wrong Dave, I bet the officer was real "distracted" by the device.

So after controlling my laughing fit, some hours later, I began to wonder how a taser gun would be capable of lacerating and fracturing a finger. A quick check and I found:

When you pull the trigger of a Taser gun, a blast of compressed nitrogen launches its two barbed darts at 55 meters per second. Each projectile has a 9-millimeter-long tip to penetrate clothing and the insulating outer layer of skin. Two whisper-thin wires trail behind for up to 9 meters, forming an electrical connection to the gun.

Ah I see, if presumably the officer had a finger covering the barrel when the device was absent mindedly fired, that would be quite nasty.

Tip - If you are expecting to be shot with one of these

Wrap your torso in multiple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil, between a t shirt and outer shirt. This will short the circuit, you will not be shocked. Apparently also useful in deflecting radiation from mobile phone towers.

Note - This will not work in Adelaide, the police there aim for the head

Tip No. 2 - If you are shot in Adelaide or have forgotten the shiny underwear, Stop Drop and Roll Away. This will break the thin leads from the barbs and stop the shocks instantly. You will not be able to remove the barbs by hand as you will lose most motor control after the first jolt.

Remember - Stop, Drop, and Roll

Warning - do not apply this technique in the USA. Police will interpret the maneuver as an act of aggression and will repeatedly fire barbed darts into your flesh until you cease the dangerous rolling.

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