In this Nov. 14, 2013 photo, a Taser X26 is shown as Knightstown Police Chief Danny Baker talks about being shot by the weapon to raise money for his department in Knightstown, Ind.(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (AP) - Knightstown police Chief Danny Baker has used pig roasts and golf tournaments to augment his department's shrinking budget, but badly in need of $9,000 for a new squad car, he's reprising his most shocking fundraising approach to date: getting shot by a stun gun.
The jocular 63-year-old chief and another Knightstown official were planning to have a detective shoot them with a Taser at a free event Wednesday night in the middle school gym in their small eastern Indiana town.
Spectators - who Baker hopes feel compelled to donate - will get a firsthand look at how 50,000 volts of low-amp electricity affects the human body.
"It's a shame we have to go to the extent of having fundraisers and getting electrified and so forth, but with small-town budgets you have to do something to get by," said Baker
, a lifelong Knightstown resident who has been in law enforcement for 35 years.
concedes that his
fundraising gambit is extreme, he
believes it will also educate the crowd, which will also get to see a police dog demonstration.
became police chief in 2007, Baker
has staged a series of fundraisers, including an annual golf outing and hog roast that raises about $5,000 a year and has paid for new digital cameras for the town's cruisers, blood-testing kits and other items.
Wednesday's event would not be a first for Baker
, who has four children and 16 grandchildren.
was shot with a stun gun about five years ago to raise $500 for new equipment.
Baker says getting stunned feels like being punched about 20 times a second in the back of the head for five seconds.
It immobilizes the target and leaves him or her
prone and sore, he
will be steadied by two of his
officers while he's
Emergency medical technicians will be on hand, their ambulance parked outside Knightstown Intermediate School
as a precaution.
reprised the Taser event after a local businessman who is contributing to the cause suggested it.
said Wednesday's demonstration will re-certify him through next year in Taser use in accordance with Indiana Law Enforcement Academy requirements.
Officers can choose whether or not to be stunned as part of that re-certification, he
Although some might question the message the stunt might send - not to mention its wisdom - Baker
said that if anything, it will benefit those who attend, including children.
"We're not using it to play with, we're using it as a training tool," he
"It's going to be quite visible - the pain in my body - and if there are kids there, they're going to see this and their parents can sit down and say, 'See, if you mess up and don't do what the police tell you to do, that's going to be you.'"
Wednesday's event has made the well-liked chief the talk of Knightstown, a farming town best-known as the home of the Hoosier Gym, a rustic, 1920s-era structure featured as the home team's gym in the 1986 basketball film "Hoosiers.
And the dollars have flowed in, giving the department most of the money it needs for the cruiser.
2006 Ford Crown Victoria has about 67,000 miles on it, and on Monday it was the only one of the department's four squad cars in service.
"What we're experiencing here, it's just a microcosm of what's happening around the country," said Whitesitt, who volunteered to be shocked along with Baker