Tennessee police question Taser malfunctions

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Chattanooga police officials have asked Taser International to explain why 20 percent of their department's stun guns are malfunctioning.

Assistant police chief Mike Williams says the department has been experiencing an unusual number of functional problems with about 60 of its 300 Tasers, mostly with the power source.

Police officials said they are unaware of any instances in which the devices were inoperable during use on street but became concerned officers began reporting problems during regular "spark tests."

He said a Taser International representative is to visit August 2nd.

Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle says the company is aware of the malfunctions, which he describes as highly unusual. Tuttle says he does not anticipate a long-term problem.

Officials with several other area police agencies, including Collegedale police, East Ridge police and the McMinn County Sheriff's Department, say they have had similar malfunctions.

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