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Thread: Baton Usage by LE

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    Default Baton Usage by LE

    A question to those in LE...

    I know that most LE personal have a variety of tools at their disposal when trying to subdue/make an arrest on a suspect. Is the use of the baton still pretty common or is there more emphasis by police departments in using a stun gun? Or are both emphasized equally? Just curious.
    Sincerely,

    Eric Joyce
    Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu

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    It's actually quite limited in the U.S., most people overwhelmingly going with Tasers. I recall a statistic which put it (baton use) in the single digits for police use of force, but I do not know how that was collected or whether it was true. Perhaps an agency that did not have Tasers would have more uses.

    A problem is that most cops carry ASPs, which are really bad for getting the desired effect. Part of this is training (very little) and part of this is the tool itself. The wood ones just tend to get left in the car, though.

    Not that Taser is all that much better, mind you.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Hey Kit,

    I kinda figured it was a bit limited. I ask because I saw an old police video (1950's or 60') showing how police officers use the baton. I found it very interesting and could see some practical (from a LE perspective) uses for it. If you have a FB account, you can access this link:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=2&theater

    It's rather dated, but it looks like some of this could still apply today. Others with more experience could offer their take on it.
    Sincerely,

    Eric Joyce
    Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu

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    Eric

    Thanks, I don't Facebook.

    We have one old school guy on our squad, former northern Cali cop, who sings the praises of his old "short wood." I think a shorter model might be a better way to go.

    But one thing we talk about, which had already gone away when he was coming on, was the fact that some of the reasons for police impact weapons going by the wayside is that you can't hit people in the head anymore unless you can justify a higher level of force. So went the saps, the sap gloves, the short woods, etc. all tools that have a reputation for having been effective...though i seem to also remember reading somewhere there is an agency that still allows saps - still, it would no doubt come with the proviso that you can't use them against the head unless a high level of force is reasonable.

    Won't get into the obvious problems in the modern day with whacking people in the head: we have too much of a history of tools being misused that today people see even legitimate uses of force that involve strikes to the head and kinda freak out. I can just imagine if saps were re-introduced. I have used a head strike with an impact tool once, but based on the situation it was totally justified.

    BUT - there is little to go against the common sense argument that head strikes would be effective. Too effective is probably the issue... but it is also something that needs to be addressed by the LE community as a whole - what has filled in the gap?

    Formerly, being a cop in the 50s and 60s and into the 70s meant that you were most likely a military vet, were 6' tall plus, male, and at least when coming on the job, fit. AND you could hit people in the head with saps and batons.....and the media was more friendly to cops and use of force in general (though this is when that started to change). No wonder police use of force had the reputation it did, for both good and bad.

    Fast forward and we have a far more diverse police force (a good thing) but have considerably lowered fitness standards (a bad thing) and seen a concomitant drop in the reputation of police forces and the effectiveness of their physical techniques.

    Likewise, we have become far more critical of use of force (overall a good thing with the obvious caveats), yet this process has taken away some of the former "go to" tactics that probably led to much quicker capitulation by suspects in the past, probably from the simple fear that they were going to get beat about the head and face if they resisted in any way.

    We also saw the influx of emasculated arrest and control techniques (from aikido and aikido-derived Filipino empty hand stuff...) with little to no worthwhile practice to even discover the more effective variants of those (smaller circles, tighter control).

    So they still had sticks, but could not use them in the most effective way. They went away from boxing, wrestling, judo-playing military vets and went toward more politically correct "non-injurious" martial forms... as cops got smaller and less strong and less fit even coming on to the job (helped by lawsuits to lower academy fitness standards for folks to get through).

    At least in the past the officer could fall back on strength and size. Now, that wasn't going to happen when the baton and then the empty hand started to fail. I think this resulted in making officers increasingly not willing to close and go hand to hand with suspects when it was necessary. Rodney King was really huge in this and changed the face of use of force.

    The Taser was the answer, but is rife with its own problems, and as we have seen allowed officers even greater latitude in choosing not to close - except now officers and agencies have found themselves in legal jeopardy when they fail to close and "cuff under power."

    I am NOT saying we should be allowed to strike to the head with impact weapons unless it is reasonable, but the reality is officers are poorly trained and not integrated amongst skill sets and tools that harmonize with the changing maai and situational dynamics - the stuff you see the LE here talking about is simply not on the radar of most serving police officers. Taser is just the latest default posture in dealing with that.
    Last edited by Hissho; 1st March 2012 at 17:59.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Thanks Kit for the info and a bit of history to match.

    As I read posts like yours and talk to fellow officers, I feel that LE community is constantly under a microscope and they are getting hamstrung more and more on the tools and tactics they can use. It's got to be tough sometimes.

    My friend (retired LE) showed me some of the tools he used to use back in the day. The leather slapper he had was something else. I asked him about use of force stuff and why don't they still use these tools and he pretty much said the same thing you described, with the addition of media scrutiny, lawsuits and risk managers "suggesting" what should be done and public officials agreeing without getting feedback from fellow officers. Sad but true.
    Sincerely,

    Eric Joyce
    Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu

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    Baltimore city police can still carry the old wooden espatoons if they want. They are a short wooden baton with a leather strap fitted in the middle. They are carried by some (but not all) officers in the city. You can see them walking their beat twirling it around by the strap. I met an old city cop that showed me a few moves with his. There for a few years they were banned because of how the intimidated the citizens. Baltimore County police do not have the espatoon, they carry asp batons. The espatoons are pretty heavy. I wouldn't want to get hit with them!
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Thus the problem with the "modern" collapsible baton. It's lighter to make it easier to carry. Impact (I) comes from velocity (V) plus mass (M)
    V + M =I reduce mass and you have to increase velocity to achieve the same impact. The human body can only swing so fast. Most cops don't get enough training to get good with the baton. I'm with Bob Hindi who says switch from targeting the padded area of the thigh and hit the bony shin for more transfer of power to a high nerve area. Less. energy required
    Increase the mass and now you have a baton that is "too heavy", not comfortable, not portable and cops stop carrying them.
    The new light batons weren't light enough and they introduced a "feather weight" baton. I know one large state agency in my state who tried them and then gave them away to us because they were useless-no M, not enough V, no I.
    Kit, thanks for the history lesson. Also the saps used to open people up with cuts. I think the Secret Service was one of the last major agencies to use the sap, used to hit people in the groin when they wouldn't move during presidential protection details, reporters were favorite targets in my understanding!
    Duane Wolfe

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    I think you'd see just as much, if not more, cutting if people were hit in the head with batons, including Asps. Head wounds are bleeders...

    Something, though, is the mag light....

    Be interesting to see a modern take on the jutte - solid (not hollow) and metal....probably closer to the mag light than the baton.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    I think you'd see just as much, if not more, cutting if people were hit in the head with batons, including Asps. Head wounds are bleeders...

    Something, though, is the mag light....

    Be interesting to see a modern take on the jutte - solid (not hollow) and metal....probably closer to the mag light than the baton.
    In our system of jujutsu, we practice with a solid jutte. I can only imagine how those weapons were used by doshin of the feudal era of Japan. We have to go very slow when we practice these and even at half speed it still smarts.
    Sincerely,

    Eric Joyce
    Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu

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    I'm not a typical example, but I actually favor the collapsible baton. The one I carry (Winchester) is much heavier than the ASP, and I tested it out on a 2X4 and some car windows before carrying it in the field, with positive results.

    It's quiet when I run, doesn't fall off my belt or get caught up when I go over fences, and it leaves both hands freed up when I'm not using it. It sounds like a shotgun being racked when deployed sharply, and is a sound and sight enough to make most think twice. That being said, I still keep the side-handle long stick made of hollow aluminum in the trunk for skirmish line deployments (crowd control). I view the side-handle as fairly useless, personally (as I do the ASP), but since I comfortable with using a short sword, I prefer the collapsible.

    Though I haven't had to use it much, I still don't fall back on other less-lethal much either, for various reasons. I mostly go hands on or to guns, with not much in between. As long as you can explain why you did or didn't use something, you are generally in good shape with the suits.

    But again, my preferences are not generally shared by the majority of my partners. I think the difference is in the type and level of martial art training.

    FWIW,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Great post Nathan
    gary Rudenick

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    I have used both the ASP and the Australian made ANTAP extendible batons. In 2000 I had the ANTAP modified by the manufacturer following some suggestions & demonstration from my teacher Shimazu Kenji. The ANTAP now looks like a modified jutte, but now just wide enough to capture the narrower sides of the radius and ulnar bones near the (carpus) wrist. Considering the use of force, I find it an effective weapon now especially for capture & control, more so than impact.

    Philip.
    Philip Hinshelwood
    Yagyu Shingan Ryu 柳生心眼流
    www.shinganryu.org

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    Mr. Hinshelwood,

    That sounds like an interesting modification. I'd love to see a photo of this jutte asp. I don't think I could get away with one here though.

    Best regards,
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Default Shingan jutte

    I'll arrange a photo of our modern 'Shingan jutte' and send it to you. The ANTAP manufacturer was quite perplexed with our suggestions of the modification. Following the first one made they asked for a demonstration and saw the practicality of the weapon.

    Philip
    Philip Hinshelwood
    Yagyu Shingan Ryu 柳生心眼流
    www.shinganryu.org

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    I'm not so sure that a jutte-style handle adaptation necessarily wouldn't fly here...since it is mainly defensive, don't see that as a problem.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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