There will be a few Portland, Maine city police officers carrying Tasers with them over the next three months. The police department is conducting a three-month test to determine their suitability for Portland. Having used a Taser on others and having been on the receiving end I can tell you that they do work! The Taser is an excellent alternative to pepper spray (OC effects will last for 15 minutes to a few hours), batons (can you spell head injury or broken bones), and firearms. There are some training issues involved. Just because you have a Taser doesn't mean you should use it on a 72 year-old grandmother or 8 year-old child; but I am sure that Portland's finest are well-trained and can discrimate who needs to be Tased and who doesn't. Read more in "Behave or be zapped: Portland police plan Taser trial period", Portland Press Herald, June 23, 2009. (Photo courtesy of Taser International).