HOCKLEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - Hockley County Sheriff's Deputies got the chance to train with a new type of non-lethal technology on Thursday, in the form of pepper ball guns.
Pepper balls are small projectile shells containing powdered chemicals that irritate the eyes and nose of anyone near the range of fire, just like pepper spray.
Although this is new technology to the Levelland officers, pepper balls have been around for years.
"There's other police departments and other officers that have successfully used this type of system," Sheriff Ray Scifres said. "It lessens the possibility of injury to your officers as well as members of the public or any suspects you may have to use this with."
Officers had to endure the effect of the pepper balls first hand as part of training to fully understand what they're dealing with.
"We've decided here at the Sheriff's Office with Sheriff Scifres to get it going [with the pepper ball training] and really take hold of it to give our officers a better chance out there," Sargent Rowdee Edwards said.
Sheriff Scifres said the pepper ball guns allow officers to use another tactic in critical incidents to get situations under control when lethal force is not needed.