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Surviving Arrest and Control

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2005 Pages: 41-43
Gerald W. Garner
Date Published
January 2005
3 pages
This article offers tips on safety procedures for police officers to follow when engaging a suspect for arrest and control.
Officers are particularly vulnerable to attack when they are attempting to handcuff and arrest a suspect. If a suspect is judged to be dangerous or is in a group of associates, the arrest should be done with a team of officers who can cover for one another while the suspect is being handcuffed and taken into custody. If a lone officer initially encounters a suspect known to be dangerous or who has shown signs of resistance, it is best to wait for backup before approaching the suspect for the arrest, even if it means the suspect has time to escape. It is important to keep the suspect at a physical disadvantage in the course of making an arrest; approach the suspect from his rear while using a cuffing and searching position that keeps him physically off-balance; put the suspect in a prone or kneeling position with ankles crossed and fingers interlaced behind his head. To prevent suspects from defeating handcuffs, they should be applied with hands back to back behind the arrestee, with cuffs being double-locked and checked to ensure they are neither too loose nor so tight as to stop circulation. The search of the prisoner must be thorough and should be repeated to ensure there are no weapons. An officer should remain on guard against any type of attack until the suspect is delivered into the custody of other officers.