SALEM -- The deputy police chief had to be hospitalized after he suffered head injuries during a demonstration of the effectiveness of Taser darts, officials said.
Deputy Chief Ed Boyd was taken to Salem Hospital after he hit his head when he toppled backwards and just missed a protective mat after being shocked with Taser darts Thursday, said police Lt. John Hoffmeister.
Boyd, who volunteered for the demonstration, was standing in the middle of several protective mats with people on each side of him.
Another officer, standing several feet away, aimed for Boyd's back and warned him when he was about to shoot. After Boyd was struck, he stiffened up and fell straight back.
Sgt. Jeff Barnes, a Taser trainer, said less than a second elapsed from the time Boyd was shocked and when his head hit the floor. "It just wasn't humanly possible for the officers to react fast enough to catch him," Barnes said.
Salem police have been considering adding the Taser to their nonlethal arsenal for the past six months. The demonstration was being taped for training so officials were able to review the incident.
In future demonstrations, trainers will use more mats, police said.