Spokane officers will soon see their patrol rifles outfitted with Gemtech suppressors to help protect hearing when used in emergencies, The Spokesman-Review reported.
The move came to insulate the city against legal costs of worker’s compensation claims and potential lawsuits from bystanders who may suffer permanent damage to their hearing if the rifles are used. Five officers in recent years have filed claims with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries for hearing loss as a result of gunfire.
“Probably the best way to say it, beyond suppressors, is this is an OSHA-approved noise reduction device,” Lt. Rob Boothe, range master and lead firearms instructor for the department, told the Review.