Bethesda Police receive donation for equipment

Rotary Club gives $1,000 for new stun gun

BETHESDA — Police officers rely on their equipment to keep themselves and others safe every day, and officers with one local department recently received a donation that will help them keep their equipment up to date.

The Bethesda Police Department received a donation from the Bethesda-Belmont-Morristown Rotary Club for new equipment. Police Chief Eric Smith said when he was asked what he might purchase if he had the money, he mentioned buying a piece of equipment known as a Phazzer Enforcer, so that is where the donated money went. The $1,000 donated by the Rotary Cub went to purchase the device, which was gratefully accepted by Smith.

“Any type of donation for equipment for small town police departments is excellent,” he said. “We hold several different fundraisers for equipment through the year.”

The Phazzer Enforcer is a less-than-lethal device that can be used to detain or control unruly suspects. Like the similar TASER, the Phazzer can shoot out a pair of small darts into a subject, which then deliver an electric shock that can stun and disable the individual. The Phazzer also comes with several different ammunition cartridges, giving the officer options for different kinds of situations.

The device can shoot out rubber bullets to incapacitate a target or “pepper balls” that burst on impact and deliver a dose of gas similar to pepper spray or mace that will irritate and disorient. The different options provided by the Phazzer ensure that officers can respond to a number of situations quickly and easily.

Smith said his department is very happy to have received the donation and the new piece of equipment, which he thinks will come in handy in keeping residents safe.

As the Bethesda Police Department also serves the villages of Belmont and Morristown, officers with the device will be using it to serve and protect a wide area.

Smith said that his department is always looking for new equipment to stay up to date; it recently received a safety grant that will allow the department to obtain a K-9 officer, and other money from fundraisers went to purchase a vest to protect the new K-9 from suspects. Smith said he plans to hold additional fundraisers, including an auction at the upcoming Chautauqua Homecoming Days and Bethesda Festival on July 8-9. Smith added that anyone wishing to make a donations to the police can either do so by donating to the department or the village of Bethesda.