PITTSBURGH - Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle has learned that state police officers will no longer be allowed to carry pepper spray.
Earle reported that the decision came after several cadets suffered injuries during a training exercise. The cadets reportedly suffered eye injuries after exposure to the defense technology MK-4 pepper spray.
"A recent training exercise revealed that this pepper spray presents a significant risk of causing eye injuries to subjects who are exposed to this product," said state police Trooper Maria Finn.
Pepper spray has been used since the early 1990s by police departments across the country to deal with unruly crowds and hostile suspects. An FBI study found it’s a much safer alternative than using a baton or hand-to-hand combat.
A state police representative said all of the state-issued pepper spray has been taken from troopers
Pittsburgh police officers carry a different brand of spray and said they haven’t had any reported issues.