Don't Get Too Close
Another factor that should be considered is how close you are to a suspect. The optimal distance for deployment of the law enforcement TASER is seven to 15 feet. Unfortunately, most suspect contact happens closer than that. How do you move to a distance of seven to 15 feet and safely deploy the TASER on an actively resting suspect?
One answer is for you to push the suspect away before deploying the TASER. Since pushing is a gross motor skill, it is a technique that officers can do under stress. Experienced defensive tactics instructors will tell you that many street fights start out with pushing motions. Why not use this natural reaction to a threat to increase officer safety by creating distance?
Create Tactical Distance
By pushing the suspect away, you'll have more time to safely access and deploy your TASER. I call this concept "creating tactical distance." It is the first concept in my method of teaching the defense and deployment of the TASER.
In most cases, the first step should be to create a "defensive wedge" with your arms by placing one hand on top of the other and pushing on the suspect's upper torso, preferably on the suspect's shoulder area. When creating the "defensive wedge," look through the wedge you've created with your hands, not over it. By doing this you bring your head down, automatically protecting your chin. Protecting the chin will keep you from getting knocked out during any ensuing fight. Be sure to use your whole body to push the suspect away when performing this technique.
Obviously, there are situations where pushing the suspect away is not the best option. If the suspect is accessing his own weapon, pushing him away should not be the first choice. However, in the vast majority of circumstances, distance gives the officer valuable reaction time and an expanded field of vision to deal with the threat or multiple threats.
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