By MEGAN JAMES
BRANDON — The Brandon Police Department is ready to integrate a new weapon into the arsenal its force of seven officers uses to keep the peace in town — the Taser X26 stun gun.
The non-deadly stun gun is promoted by its manufacturer, Taser International, as a safer alternative to firearms that can reduce police-related firearm fatalities. But some civil liberties organizations doubt the Taser’s claim that their device, which shocks a police query with 50,000 volts, is less than lethal and have begun tallying up deaths they say are linked to police mishandling of the weapon.
In Brandon, where the select board OK’d the purchase of two Tasers at a cost of under $1,000 apiece, police say the new tool is needed.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College could break records with a $500 million fund-raising campaign, which, over the next five years, will fund objectives outlined in a recently revamped strategic plan, including increasing the faculty-student ratio, strengthening the financial aid program and improving student housing.
While the college’s board of trustees has not yet approved this figure, college officials said last week nothing short of this amount will allow them to implement the full strategic plan.
Such an ambitious goal, among the largest fund-raising goals ever set by a liberal arts institution of its size, will require the institution to look beyond its existing donor-base of alumni, parents of current students and friends, to other universities and organizations that support Middlebury’s mission to be globally minded, said Dean of Planning John Emerson.