DIXFIELD — Sometime next month, Dixfield police will receive two Tasers, training to use the electroshock devices and two holographic sights for their AR-15 patrol rifles, thanks to a federal grant.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said Friday that police Chief Richard A. Pickett told selectmen on Wednesday that he had applied for a $4,180 grant through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.

“It seems to be that (Tasers) are where law enforcement is heading instead of using deadly force,” Skibitsky said. “And now that all the ‘bugs’ have been worked out of Tasers, Chief Pickett thought that now is the time for Dixfield to get into it.”

Tasers use electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles.

Sergeant Jeffrey Howe said he received notice on Friday that the department got the grant, which is administered through the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Howe said he has fired rifles before using holographic sights and believes they will be much better than standard iron sights, which Dixfield officers currently have installed on their tactical rifles.

“The military’s been using (the holographic sight) for a number of years, and it’s proven effective,” Howe said.

Holographic sights consist of a 2½-inch square screen in which is a ring with a red dot inside. He said you simply line up the red dot, which isn’t projected like a laser sight, with the target.

“So, it doesn’t matter which way you align your head and, it gets rid of the three steps of sighting,” Howe said.
“It’s a lot quicker, and it will be cheaper for training purposes,” meaning fewer rounds will be used.

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