officers today have more tools at their disposal than
ever before. Tazers, OC Spray, ASP Batons, and firearms
are a few examples of these.
What do all of these weapons have in common? The human
hand deploys every one of them. No matter how much technology
lays in the future the one thing that will always remain
the same in law enforcement is that sooner or later
you have to take the bad guy to jail and that means
going hands on.
It seems that some police officers and many police administrators
want to somehow bury their head in the sand and ignore
this fact. They want more Tazers, they want more computers
in the cars, and they want more officers with college
None of these things that I mentioned are going to negate
my statement at the beginning of this article.
Let's face it, looking at the bigger picture a
pretty small percentage of arrests erupt into a fight.
Even fewer into an attack or attempted disarming of
a police officer. But when it does happen the officer
will need open hand skills to deal with the immediate
threat and depending on the circumstances either neutralize
the threat or do something to create time and distance
to realize other options.
The most dangerous time for a police officer is at the
moment of arrest, when even the most submissive suspect
can turn explosively violent. Being within arms reach
is a physical reality of an arrest. At this distance
it is next to impossible to deploy any tools from your
Bat Belt. It is also the hardest place to retain them.
The arm bar takedown that you learned in the academy
was to be used against a drunk who was resisting, not
a convicted murderer trying to make you his next victim.
You made a rookie mistake and took out your cuffs before
you had control over him. Now with your cuffs in hand
you recoil back from him spinning around and elbowing
you in the face.
As the blood starts to pump from your face, you realize
that for a split second you forgot where you were and
did what every normal person would do. You began to
bring your hands to your face. Problem is that once
you realize this you also realize that he has now got
his hands on your gun and is trying to get it out of
Definitely a deadly force situation but your only deadly
force option is the very item he has his hands on. As
you struggle, you remember that you have your cuffs
in your strong hand. Have you ever thought of using
your cuffs as an impact weapon? Do you know where to
strike him with the cuffs to make him stop what he is
doing? Do you have the stomach to take your thumb and
jam it into his eye, if that is what it will take to
These are not skills that you will see taught, encouraged
or approved in any agency or academy. The number one
reason being liability. The second reason, what I feel
is the most important, is that, lets face it, the majority
of officers do not have the right mindset to do these
It would take time, consideration, and ruthlessness.
These are mental bridges that you must cross mentally
before you meet them in the street. What are you willing
to do to live?.