An officer was booking a prisoner when the prisoner jumped a counter and attacked him. The officer reported later that the suspect tried to grab his gun. The officer was fighting for his life and there were no one there to help him. Booking areas should be secure areas; officers should not be bringing firearms into such areas. The arrested people should not be unrestrained most of the time. They should be locked in a cell or handcuffed into a wall or bench.
Booking areas can be very dangerous. Often suspects think the booking area is their last chance to escape. Sometimes they think if the attack an officer they will have more prestige with the other inmates. Other times suspects are impaired by drugs, alcohol or mental illness and so may not make good or rational decisions.
Booking areas generally should be staffed by a minimum of two officers at the very least until the suspects have been fully searched for weapons and finished their initial intake and booking. That way an assessment can be made of the danger level of a particular inmate. Jail safety is important, that’s what the SGT Says.