A Richland police records specialist got a shock -- literally -- after challenging officers and other department staff to donate money to a community organization.
Amanda Donahoe said she voluntarily would let an officer shock her with a Taser gun if at least half the department contributed to United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties' annual fundraising campaign.
"I never expected them to get 50 percent participation," Donahoe told the Herald on Monday.
Department participation in past years has been pretty low -- 1 percent or 2 percent -- but the 27-year-old quickly learned that an offer to get zapped was all the incentive needed to get people to open up their wallets.
"We're going to try to give her the experience of it without feeling the full effect of it," said Richland Police Chief Chris Skinner.
As almost a dozen cameras focused on her Monday, she got hooked up to the Taser probes.
"I'm scared," she said as she laid down on a mat in the station's training room.
Then she took a three-second shock like a pro, letting out just a small squeal.
"I'm still shaking. I feel like it's still getting me," she said moments after getting unhooked from the probes. "I feel like I have cotton in my mouth."
Then she excitedly exclaimed, "I didn't pee!"
Donahoe was congratulated and hugged by many of the officers who watched, including her father, Cpl. Scott Morrell, who said he would tell her mother she survived.
Skinner said Richland police officers give back to the community in many ways, but just haven't historically supported United Way.
When this year's campaign was starting, he said Donahoe volunteered to lead the effort.
"It didn't shock me that she was volunteering to be the United Way representative," Skinner said. "This was a creative way to get people to donate."
Skinner said he would take a Taser shock with Donahoe if the department had 90 percent participation.
He was safe on the sidelines Monday, but lauded Donahoe's "courage, her tenacity and her passion."
As for Donahoe, she said she had plenty of officers telling her what to expect from a Taser shock and "it was just as bad" as they described.
But, she added, "it's a small price to pay for something that is so important to the community."
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org