A mother in Kake, Alaska, claims her 11-year-old son and another boy had a stun gun used on them by a village public safety officer about a month ago because the boys wanted to know what it felt like.
Terrie Ward claims she recently found out about the alleged use of a stun gun in December 2014 from a concerned friend, not local authorities.
“(My friend) was asking me how my son was doing after the incident, and I was like, ‘What is she talking about?’” Ward told JuneauEmpire.com. “I was in shock because, I mean, I did not hear of it. I did not know about it.”
Ward says the incident happened outside the Boys & Girls Club of Kake, which is next to the VPSO office.
“They were talking about being tased, and my son did ask to be tased, and he tasered him on his arm or his wrist,” added Ward, who claims her son kept it secret because he didn't want to get in trouble.
The boy was not injured, but Ward said, “I’m just not happy about the whole situation. To me, this is considered child abuse.”
The Alaska State Troopers are investigating the alleged incident, as are the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska — known as T&H — which employ VPSO in the small town.
VPSO members are technically not law enforcement officers, but rather civilians who are trained for 10 weeks on how to respond to emergencies, conduct search and rescue missions, and perform basic law enforcement duties. Small towns such as Kake hire VPSOs because it can take days for law enforcement to arrive, noted Alaska Dispatch News.
“This is a personnel issue and T&H is working through the Alaska State Troopers in this matter,” T&H’s VPSO program manager Jason Wilson told JuneauEmpire.com. “This matter was investigated and forwarded to the (attorney general’s) office.”
VPSOs have been carrying stun guns since 2007. Former Alaska Governor Sean Parnell signed a bill last year that will allow VPSOs to carry guns.