|Police Chief to Get Tasered at Fundraiser|
|By BEN GITTLESON (@bgittleson)||Nov 27, 2013, 2:58 PM|
A small-town police chief's plan to raise money has shocked people in Knightstown, Ind. -- and will definitely shock him: he will voluntarily get tasered to bring in donations for his department.
Knightstown Police Chief Danny Baker, 63, said he and another town official will let police officers shoot them with a Taser in front of a crowd in a school gymnasium tonight, hoping to raise enough money from spectators to put toward a new car lease for his financially struggling police department.
"They just show up, sit down, and get a good laugh as I get the s**t knocked out of me," Baker told ABC News.
"If you can imagine somebody hitting you in the back of the head 19 times per second for five seconds, that's what it feels like. And boy, do it hurt," he said.
A couple officers will support Baker as he's stunned with 50,000 volts of less than two amps of electricity, and then will lay him on the floor, the chief said.
An ambulance will stand by "for safety's sake and for my wife's peace of mind," he said. "She thinks I'm nuts, but she thought that when we got married 38 years ago."
Bart Whitesitt, the town's court-treasurer, will also get stunned.
It's not the first time Baker's been shocked in front of a crowd. A few years ago he raised $500 for the department by getting zapped before a small crowd. For that event, he had promised he would get tased if an officer could raise $500.
"The first person he went to wrote a check for $500 … Oh man, me and my big mouth," Baker said. "There weren't many people there, but boy, the looks on their faces. And my reaction was, boy what the hell am I doing this for."
Like other police departments in small towns across the country, Knightstown has struggled through budget cuts, the chief said. The fleet has four cars for three full-time, five part-time and nine reserve officers.
But three of the cars are out of commission, so everybody at the police station shares Baker's 2006 Ford Crown Victoria.
If the department can raise $9,000 -- and it almost has, with donations coming in from as far as West Virginia and Nevada -- it can lease a second vehicle, a Ford Police Interceptor SUV. Baker hopes he can collect enough cash for a third, too.
"We have to get innovative for us to survive and to have appropriate equipment for our officers, and to keep them alive," said Baker, who has lived in Knightstown his entire life and has served as a police officer for 35 years.
Gary Thoe, the president and owner of a Knightstown media and printing company, told ABC News he prompted tonight's demonstration when he half jokingly suggested Baker reprise his Tasering.
Thoe said he planned to attend tonight, but was a bit apprehensive. "I might shut my eyes," he said. "I'm not sure I actually want to see it."