Photo Ralph Mroz
FEATURED IN TRAINING
Every month we hear of an arrestee or prisoner somewhere who managed to get their cuffed arms to the front and assaulted an officer, sometimes with tragic results. This isn t too hard to understand. Some of us probably can slip our cuffed arms under our feet, and most of us have seen the video clips showing people who can dislocate their shoulders and swing their cuffed arms up over their head and in front of them.
The ever-present possibility that a subject can perform either of these feats is one reason we use the seatbelt to secure them in place when transporting them. But that s hardly foolproof, and subjects spend a lot of cuffed time out of the cruiser, too.
To all but eliminate the potentiality of arrestees bringing their cuffed arms in front them, turn to a humble tool that costs pennies: the cable tie (also called the zip tie). Simply keep a couple of ties in a pocket, and use one to secure the cuffs on the subject to their belt or a belt loop on their pants.
If the arrestee is wearing clothes that make using a cable tie impossible, use another very inexpensive tool: the transport belt. My former chief, a former correctional officer, put one in every department cruiser. I firmly believe every cruiser should have one. Not only are they great for securing cuffed arms behind a subject, you can use them on those rare (very rare) occasions when it s better to transport a subject with their cuffed arms in front of them. Without a transport belt, you really can t do this safely.
Ralph Mroz is the co-founder and training director of the Police Officers Safety Association (POSA). The POSA provides free force-training video programs to police officers. To obtain them, visit www.posai.org.
In the February issue, Safety Tip included a photo showing a pistol chamber-clearing technique. The caption identified the technique as the correct and safe way to clear the chamber, when in fact the technique shown was the incorrect and unsafe technique. Law Officer regrets the error. eds.