Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Handcuffs II

Sometimes I have linked two sets of handcuffs together to secure a large person who can’t easily put both arms behind their back. Running the handcuff links under the back of the suspects’ belt can help to further restrain the movement of a suspect. Thin people can sometimes slip their handcuffs from behind them around to their front. Suspects should never be handcuffed to the front, it’s too easy for them to pick the handcuffs or grab your gun, hit you, or just run away if their hands are to the front.

Once the cuffs are on they need to be adjusted properly. They should be in the little space on the end of the wrist where the bone protrudes. It makes a nice little channel in the arm to prevent the handcuffs from sliding around too much. Once in the right place, handcuffs should be double locked to make them harder to pick and to prevent them from over tightening. There should be a little play in the handcuffs; you don’t want to cut off the suspect’s circulation.

The suspect should be searched immediately after the handcuffs are placed on him. At the very least search the small of the back so that you know the suspect does not have easy access to a weapon while handcuffed. Even if the person is of the opposite sex your policy should permit that much of a search for your safety. Once a person is handcuffed, and even if they are placed in a police car with a cage, you still need to periodically monitor them to insure they are still restrained and are not experiencing a medical emergency. Suspects can pass out, vomit and suffocate while handcuffed or stop breathing for other reasons too. If you think the suspect has a medical condition or is on drugs consider having your paramedics respond to evaluate their safety. Once handcuffed, searched and in the police car, I like to get the suspect transported to jail as soon as I reasonably can do so. The suspect is in your custody and is your responsibility; that’s what the SGT Says.

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