Monday, August 24, 2009

Check It Out

Can a male officer search a female suspect? Of course. Your need to search needs to be balanced against the right to privacy for the female suspect. Once the suspect has been handcuffed, the first thing you can do is a visual search. Look for obvious weapons or subtle signs that they have concealed a weapon on their person.

The most obvious thing you can do it hold the suspect by the handcuffs and wait for a female officer to conduct a search. If this is not practical, you can use the back of your hand to check the small of the back area where a suspect could reach a weapon while wearing handcuffs. You can also perform the search using your flashlight or baton so that you are not actually touching the suspect with your hands. In any case, try and have the search witnessed by another officer or other trusted person.

If the incident is one of violence and the female suspect has a high level of violence and a good likelihood of being armed, then you may have to search her quickly to insure your safety and that of other innocent people. This is not a preferred tactic, but sometimes you have to search to insure safety. Just be sure to document the reasons in your report, and stress the need for safety, and the lack of time to wait for a female officer. Not searching can get you killed. Not documenting the search properly can get you fired; that's what the SGT Says.


Texas Ghostrider said...

Most officers don't know about searching the opposite sex. If you have a video car do it in front of the video camera. Don't let them intiminate you to not searching. That is a tactic I see over and over again. Be safe and stay safe! TGR

FlyTrap said...

Exactly what I was going to say...put her in front of the camera.

Protect_and_Serve said...

Of course, girl-cops search ten men a day and nobody seems to care.

Bunkermeister said...

In front of a camera is a good idea too.

Don't jepordize your safety or the safety of your fellow officers by not searching if you need to search.