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David Griffith

David Griffith

David Griffith has been editor of POLICE Magazine since December 2001. He brings more than 25 years of experience on magazines and newspapers to POLICE. A Maggie award-winning journalist, his byline has appeared on hundreds of articles in POLICE and other national magazines.

Melanie Basich

Melanie Basich

Managing Editor Melanie Basich joined POLICE Magazine in 2000 (when her last name was still Hamilton). An award-winning journalist, she has covered such topics as agency budgets, officer suicide, emerging law enforcement technologies, and active shooter tactics. She writes and manages the product section of POLICE.
Editor's Notes

Video: Handcuffing with Hands On the Head

Snapping handcuffs on a suspect's wrists whose hands are on the head can open an officer to several counterattacks.

September 29, 2011  |  by

VIDEO: Handcuffing with Hands On the Head

Do you handcuff your subject in the same position you used to cover or search him?

Effective police tactics not only give the officer the advantage; they put the suspect in a position of disadvantage. This is crucial when you're "up close and personal" with a suspect who may be planning a counterattack.

Handcuffing a suspect after asking him to place his hands on top of his head may look good on cop shows, but it puts you at greater risk. This still widely used tactic may be effective to cover a suspect, but police combat trainer Lt. Kevin Dillon says it should be avoided for pat-downs and handcuffing.

In his latest video, Lt. Dillon shows you why you should consider avoiding this tactic. The video, which you can view by clicking on the above photo, will help you limit possible counterattacks from a suspect in the "hands on head" position.

"Unfortunately sometimes we're using the same positions to handcuff that we use to cover or search," Lt. Dillon explains. "This one offers very little advantage, when you are handcuffing and/or searching … When I want to pat them down or handcuff them, that's not the position I want them in."

In the video, Lt. Dillon also explains a preferable handcuffing position, and shows you a specific way that you should position your subject's hands.

Enjoy the video. When you're done, head back to this page for links to additional videos from Lt. Dillon below.


How to Handcuff on a Wall

Integrated Baton Training (video)

Communications Skills (video)

Police Combat Tactics: Overview (video)

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Rick @ 9/29/2011 5:08 PM

The Coast Guard didn't use the handcuffing on the head technique. We had a standing, kneeling and prone handcuffing position, but the standing position kept the suspect off balance and him/her in a position to quickly get the cuffs on.

Phil @ 9/29/2011 8:10 PM

Good critique on the Koga technic, but if the Koga technic is applied properly the technic works. Lt. Dillon might want to contact the Koga Institute to learn the proper technic of searching and handcuffing, he will find the technic does work. There is no perfect technic that can't be broken, but used over thirty years might be a proof of it's value...?

[email protected] @ 2/14/2014 10:00 AM

I want 2see cantre

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