PCSO equips deputies with less-lethal weaponry

- It fires like a gun and looks like a gun, but it's no ordinary weapon; it shoots less-lethal bullets and flash bang rounds.

The Defenzia MO9 was developed in Russia by the Russian Academy of Sciences. It's compact, smaller and lighter than a taser and instead of a lead bullet, it shoots rubber bullets that are designed to knock down and incapacitate a suspect.

"This is going to hit you like an 80 mph fastball hitting you in the chest," said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. "This will knock somebody down."

Sheriff Babeu's Pinal County Sheriff's Office is the first in the  United States to buy the Defenzia and give it to his deputies.

But why use these? In the recent shooting of 24-year-old Danielle Jacobs by Mesa police, she suffered from severe emotional issues and became known to many when a YouTube video of her dog calming her down went viral.

Police say she had a knife and they felt threatened, so they shot and killed her. Who knows what would've happened if the officers had less-than lethal weapons.

The Defenzia is more expensive than normal service guns, but the savings in terms of lives and money, could be huge.

"Think of just the liability," Sheriff Babeu said. "A lawsuit could cost hundreds of thousands to fight and we've seen this in other parts of America where this has occurred. 

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office gets these weapons at the end of the month. They will be doing extensive training and will be out on the streets when training is done.






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