Marathon County officials revise jail procedures - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon County officials revise jail procedures


Marathon County Sheriff's officials say they've taken a closer look at jail procedures. They admit, some things still need to be worked on. But, for now, all officers are carrying tasers. Officials say that's a step toward a safer workplace.

"If the officer needs it all they have to do is draw the taser out and activate it," Lt. Dale Wisnewski of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department said during a taser demonstration.

This all comes after last week's jail attack that injured two corrections officers, one of them critically. Authorities say before the attack officers were only allowed to carry pepper spray.

"Now this provides a more safe environment for our staff and the inmates that we serve," Chief Deputy Scott Parks said.

The use of tasers inside county jails is not new. Portage County gave its corrections officers tasers several years ago.

"It's prevented injuries, to staff and to inmates and it deters inmates," said Capt. Cory Nelson of the Portage County Sheriff's Department.

Nelson also says it's a strong tool to have at their fingertips. 

"It's good to have, to use it when you need it because if you need it and it's not there, well it's too late," Nelson explained.

But what if inmates get their hands on a taser? That was a concern, but Marathon County officials say officers are being trained on what to do if that happens and how to prevent it.

"We need to take this very seriously working in the correctional facility," Chief Deputy Parks said.

Sheriff's officials hope this step will improve safety and keep attacks, like the one last week, from ever happening.  

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