Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Holding Handcuffed Prisoners

Many of us have been trained to hold the chain of a prisoner who has been handcuffed. This can be a dangerous mistake. A handcuffed person can use the handcuffs as a method of restraining the officer and attacking him. All they have to do is flip their hand over the officers hand and it traps the officers hand. This is all part of an important fact, people who are handcuffed can still be dangerous.

Generally speaking, when someone is handcuffed, police usually think the fight is over. The real situation is the fight is over when the suspect thinks it is over and submits to your lawful authority to make an arrest. The suspect can change his mind at anytime after that so you must always be aware of the potential for attack.

That potential exists even when the suspect is handcuffed, even when they are in the cage in the back of the police car and even when they are in jail. Rather than hold the handcuff chain on the handcuffs, hold the suspect’s hand instead. I like to grip three fingers of the suspects hand while I conduct a search for weapons. When moving the suspect I hold them by the hand and elbow, rather than the chain; or just above the elbow. It’s all about maintaining control of the prisoner. It’s safer for you, for your partners and ultimately even safer for the suspect; that’s what the SGT Says.

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