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Creative Cuffing for Small-Wristed Subjects

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

In defensive tactics for policing, we’re always looking for ways to control (that operative word is bolded on purpose) the behaviorally challenged individual. Unfortunately, not all wrists come in a convenient size to fit our handcuffs. Many people with slender wrists, particularly juveniles, are able to slip out of the cuffs despite our best efforts to do the right things. This Weinblatt’s Tips column covers what you can do with creative cuffing to control escape-prone wrists.

By way of reminder, those “correct things” include handcuffing behind in almost all cases (except some situations such as limb disabilities, etc. which should be spelled out in your agency’s procedures), turning the keyholes in the same direction, “finger” testing for fit, and double-locking for officer safety. Hopefully, you also indicated that you double-locked the handcuffs in your report’s narrative. That documentation cuts down on those nasty complaints and tort claims.

But what if you tighten that single strand (or single yoke, as some refer to it) all the way down and there’s still plenty of room for the perpetrator to pull out? There’s not much control if the person can pull their hand out of the handcuff.

One solution is the use of flex cuffs. A couple of downsides are the danger of tightening them too much and not having the ability to loosen them and the need for a cutting instrument to slice them off. You also need to have those flexible restraints on you, not buried in the trunk of the patrol car.

Reusable flex cuffs are out there, however they are harder to find and tend to be used in training environments. Also, their locking and unlocking mechanisms take a little getting used to.

But wait, there is an even more convenient method that you can use to handcuff people who have slim wrists and it’s right on your duty belt. They are called (drum roll please)….handcuffs.

The trusty old handcuffs are the same. Your aim of controlling the subject is also the same. So what’s changed to make them work? It’s your creative cuffing application of the metal bracelets that is modified.

What I used to do with thin-wristed folks is have them (sometimes with some assistance- their tax dollars at work) place their wrists together behind their backs horizontally. I would then take one handcuff and place it around both wrists. Of course, I would finger test for fit and double-lock them. The other cuff could then be handcuffed to a belt loop on the back of their pants.


+57
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    teeaime50

    about 5 years ago

    12 Comments

    Super IDEA !!!! Thanks

  • Vapd_new_badge_max50

    azcopper51965

    about 5 years ago

    602 Comments

    Good idea!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Neraph

    about 5 years ago

    42 Comments

    That is clever. I like cleverness.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Marine_Gunns_2001

    about 5 years ago

    6 Comments

    If you put the solid part of the shackle to overlap the cuff and then close the ratchet, the overlap reduces the size of standard cuffs by about an inch and some. It ends up looking like interlaced circles. Double lock...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sdwilliams

    about 5 years ago

    4 Comments

    Great info! I could've used this approximately 3-4 months ago. I will in the futher

  • Beth_spic_s_059_max50

    barryedaniel

    about 5 years ago

    4034 Comments

    Smith and Wesson are the smalls handcuffs I can think of . They work on small subjects with small wristed try to get out of them are hard one size fits all . They lock on and stay on good stuff they are the best and work great .

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    Sir_Spooky

    about 5 years ago

    38 Comments

    This works... I have been doing this for years on juveniles.

  • 056__2__max50

    iwmc1032

    about 5 years ago

    58 Comments

    I've found that with chain link type cuffs you can also put the single strand part of one cuff through the opening of the other cuff. This creates a smaller opening on both cuffs. Works great on tiny female heroin addicts.

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    PreKish

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    S&w makes a pair that close extra small and open wide to accomodate slender and fat wrists

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    kdrussell

    about 5 years ago

    80 Comments

    Never have thought of it...that ah work

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    Bill_Dodd

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Creative, I will think about this the next time. I have experienced the problem. Thank you Bill K9.

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    P89Hydra

    about 5 years ago

    740 Comments

    Good stuff.

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    jmmartin

    about 5 years ago

    548 Comments

    Phenominal idea. That is good info!!

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    bitay1955

    about 5 years ago

    38 Comments

    Great insight, Thanks for the tips. Please keep them coming .
    the old adage is we learn something new everyday.
    In this line of work I truly want to .

    AlaCop

  • 008_max50

    NMStater

    about 5 years ago

    72 Comments

    Awesome information, thanks!!

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