c) Final Comments
Despite the reality that handcuffing is one of the most used techniques in law enforcement, this process is often not well executed.
This may stem from the fact that although it is a basic skill, in some jurisdictions few arrests are made, hence when left unpracticed, the skill deteriorates over time.
In other cases, the techniques being taught are all too often for those subjects who are cooperative.
Little training is offered to initiate control, and then maintain that control over resistive arrestees until that person is manipulated into the prone handcuffing position for handcuffing.
The problems resulting from the inept application of handcuffs can have far reaching consequences for both the officer and the offender.
In far too many scenarios where an arrest situation has gone bad, it often stems from handcuffs not being applied properly.
Handcuffing should not be initiated until the arrestee is under your total physical control.
Approaching a problematic arrestee with handcuffs in hand is a recipe for disaster.
Watch video clips of officers approaching arrestees (resistive or not) with handcuffs in hand, and you will often witness an inability to gain (single-handed) control over them and the handcuffs may go flying out of the officer’s reach in the ensuing melee.
The situation then becomes even more stressful, and the situation will call for heavier uses of force.
Sure, the arrestee brought it on himself by resisting arrest, but using proper tactical control and handcuffing techniques will greatly reduce the opportunity for an arrestee commit assault or to flee, both actions of which causes an escalation of force.
What ensues can be tragic; too many lives have been lost on both sides of the cuffs when control is lost.