The Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office Issue Less Lethal Shotguns

The Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office has begun to issue “Less Lethal” Shotguns to deputies.  These shotguns will provide deputies with another force option as an alternative to lethal force in situations where they previously may not have had any other force option.  Use of force incidents are nothing new in law enforcement, and over the past 30 years, technological advances have allowed us to add many less-lethal options to our proverbial “toolbox.”  While less lethal shotguns are not a new tool to law enforcement, they are new to us here in Cleburne County.  We have been working over the past several months to repurpose several shotguns, certify deputies, and implement a policy to govern the use of those shotguns.  We believe these shotguns will be a potentially life-saving tool and will complement the other less-lethal tools already in use by deputies. 

The shotguns, which are distinctly marked by an orange stock, work by firing a bean bag or rubber bullets instead of lead pellets like a traditional shotgun.  One of the biggest advantages to these shotguns is their expanded range.  Most less lethal tools possessed by law enforcement are designed to be used at close range (from 5 feet to 20 feet), while the less lethal shotgun can be used out to 15 or 20 yards.  We are currently issuing less lethal shotguns to supervisors, with a long-term goal of issuing one to each deputy.

As law enforcement officers, our ultimate goal intense situations is to resolve them as peacefully as possible, and that is made increasingly more possible by adding more less-lethal options for our deputies to use.  We are proud to serve Cleburne County, and will continue to look for ways to serve our community as efficiently, effectively, and as safely as possible.