Taser Project Revisited
Council: 680 - MILLINOCKET
In the fall of 2017, a Millinocket police officer responded to a disturbance call where he confronted an individual who was showing signs of increasing aggression. Sensing danger and despite repeated warnings to the individual to stand down, the officer attempted to subdue the individual with his taser unit. The taser had little effect on the individual who proceeded to attack the officer. Several individuals responded to assist the officer, who was the only one on patrol at the time. The individual was apprehended and taken into custody.
The incident exemplified the need to upgrade the existing taser units which were old and in frequent need of repair. Chief Steven Kenyon of the Millinocket Police Department used a grant to purchase a new taser unit with the intention of using grant money to purchase another taser unit in subsequent years until the old units were eventually replaced. While this seemed like a cost conscious solution to a problem in the face of budget constraints, it meant that there would be times when an officer would be left using an older unit that may be less than reliable.
The St. Martin of Tours Council 680 Knights of Columbus and the Fourth Degree Assembly 347, both of Millinocket, discussed this problem at one of their monthly meetings and agreed to purchase two taser units for the Millinocket Police Department so these units would be available to the police officers on duty as soon as possible. A committee was also formed to initiate a capital campaign in the hope of recouping some of the money spend by the Knights in order to replenish their meager funds. A letter writing campaign was initiated and mailed to local businesses, individuals, and corporations in the greater Millinocket area. The response was overwhelming. The Council was able to purchase both units and had surplus money that was put in a designated account for the Millinocket Police’s future needs.
This year, Millinocket’s new police chief realized that a third taser was required and approached the Council for assistance. A public supper fund raiser was conducted to raise the necessary funds that exceeded the surplus funds that had been collected with the initial campaign. Combining the monies raised allowed the Council to purchase the third unit for the Millinocket Police on June 3rd, 2019. The Council was highly supportive of this endeavor because we recognized the importance of protecting those who protect us in this community facing difficult economic times.