Ripon Police Add Non-Lethal Option To Aid Officers
The Ripon Police Department announced the acquisition of the PepperBall non-lethal projectile system. The PepperBall system is a paintball-like version of pepper spray. Projectiles of powdered PAVA capsaicin II can be launched to help protect the public and police by subduing dangerous suspects. The PepperBall system was added to the department’s less/non-lethal equipment options to give officers additional tools for the varied, dangerous encounters they routinely face. Unlike the Taser, bean bag or baton, the PepperBall system has been designated by the United Nations as “Non-lethal.”
Just last week, Ripon officers were confronted by a male suspect who was extremely confrontational. He repeatedly asked officers to shoot him. The male attempted to assault the officers and he was taken into custody with the aid of the officers Tasers.
Department Spokesperson, Lieutenant Steve Merchant said the Tasers that Ripon officers have carried since 2004 have been very successful in saving the lives of multiple suspects in situations where deadly force could have been an option.
Merchant said in the department’s very first use of the Taser in 2004 a suspect armed with a knife, wanted for assaulting a family member, ran from officers through the campus of a local elementary school with the knife in hand. When cornered, the suspect repeatedly lunged at officers with the knife, yelling at them to shoot him. A Taser was deployed, ending this life threatening situation without further incident.
Merchant said, “This PepperBall system gives our officers another force option when confronted by those who pose a danger to the community based on their actions” The department will have three PepperBall launchers available for deployment. All sworn staff will be trained in the use and deployment of the PepperBall system by the end of June 2017.
P.I.O. – Lieutenant Steve Merchant
Ripon Police Department
259 N. Wilma Ave.
Ripon, CA 95336