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Handcuffing with Hands On the Head


POLICE Magazine has teamed up with Lt. Kevin Dillon, a retired officer and trainer who developed the L.O.C.K.U.P. system, for a video series focusing on police combat strategies and tactics. In this segment, Lt. Dillon demonstrates a safer position from which to handcuff a suspect than the "hands on the head" position.

September 29, 2011
9627 views

Tags: Defensive Tactics, Handcuffing Suspects, Gaining Compliance


Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Rick @ 9/29/2011 5:15 PM

USCG teaches standing cuffing with backs of the hands together, suspecting bent forward at the waist thereby lifting his hands into a nice cuff position and the toes pointed out. the suspect is off balance, the wrists are ready for cuffing and if the suspect fights, can be taken down with an iron wristlock takedown.

Greg @ 9/29/2011 5:31 PM

Lt,

Good stuff but why teach anyone to cuff with their strong hand? The strong hand is what we push, strike, use baton and/or shoot with. Put the cuffs on your support side and cuff with the suport hand! Stay safe.

Joe @ 9/29/2011 5:40 PM

Great video. I've been using the old 'hands on head' technique for many years, but this has caused me to rethink what I've been doing. He's right - and I can see the advantages. I'll work on this with my partner and start using it once it.

Randy @ 9/29/2011 6:05 PM

Good info, but we have been doing this style for about the last 15 years.

Hashmat @ 9/30/2011 12:43 AM

Excellent information and video thank you. My academy taught it the way the video portrays behind the back, but in FTO I was taught handcuffing on the back of the head. I will revert back to my academy training due to your excellent video.

Nick @ 9/30/2011 1:39 AM

Our handcuffing technique is similar to what they describe, however, we have them put their feet together, with hands behind their back. Similar to a start position for a standardized field sobriety test versus spreading their feet out which provides more balance.

Nick Randall @ 9/30/2011 2:50 AM

Searching before cuffing sucks no matter what anybody says to the contrary.

Ken Kraus @ 9/30/2011 6:02 AM

This concept & technique is very thought provoking, (as all our training and tactics should constently be). I have observed that the hands on top of the head technique is often very awkward and dangerous for smaller officers using it on taller suspects. The only one that is worse is letting them lean against a wall or vehicle. The on-top head and leaning position gives even the novice street fighter the advantage of "spring-action and torque power" to be used against you in a split second that your attention is divided. Constantly practice and critique your own motor skills---you can never afford to loose even one physical encounter.

Gregory @ 9/30/2011 12:01 PM

Excellent video, thanks you This video has definitely opened my eyes to the vunerability of searching someone with their hands on top of their head, although it may be safe if the suspect is kneeling (on both knees)

Guy Rossi @ 10/1/2011 4:45 AM

Great job Lt. we (in Rochester, NY) have been following your suggested method for years. The hands on head technique seems to be more of a regional technique of the midwest and western areas of our country. I can personally tell you I have never seen a police agency use it in New York (not that we are any better than anyone else - we have our own issues). Thank you for passing this information on to those that haven't critically thought out every officer safety response/technique. Keep up the good work!

Ryan @ 10/2/2011 7:47 AM

I've always been partial to searching and securing in the prone position, simply for some of the reasons highlighted in this clip. But this clip provides a great alternative to when that is not practical. It's always good to have more tools in the bag. I can see some problems with this technique, but what technique is perfect? That's why we train and evolve.

Howard LaMunion @ 10/2/2011 7:49 AM

Excellent video. I have shared it with several others.

RICHARD L ISAACS @ 10/3/2011 7:50 PM

TO THE OFFICER WHO SAID WE HAVE BEEN USING THIS TECHNIQUE FOR 15 YEARS. YOU SIR HAVE BECOME COMPLACENT. I DON'T MEAN TO CRITICIZE YOU, BUT EMBRACE VIDEOS LIKE THIS AS IF YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE, THEN GO OUT IN THE PARKING LOT WITH YOUR PARTNERS AN PRACTICE A FEW TIMES TO MAKE SURE YOUR STILL DOING IT RIGHT. GOD BLESS AND GO HOME AFTER EVERY SHIFT.

DJ @ 10/4/2011 9:30 AM

Seems like a good technique but if he were doing the hands on the back of the head right he wouldn't have the problems he was showing. One you have then interlace the fingers and point them towards you so you can grab the middle fingers and use leverage instead of grabbing the tops of the hands. Two pull them off balance and close to you. The side of your head should be next to the back of their hands so they can't strike you. You then search by feel and never ever put your head where it can be struck by the suspect. In short find a technique that works for you, is safe and effective, then work it to your tactical advantage.

Don @ 10/4/2011 10:45 AM

Let's start with the fact that LT Dillon doesn't do any of the technique that he is criticizing correctly. His grip on the fingers is very poor. Also, is he telling me that I'm so excited that I can't perform a fine motor skill like grabbing the fingers. If I'm that excited on this kind of arrest, maybe I should promote. He doesn't take the suspects hip out of alignment by pushing the hip and turning the searching side of his body against the suspect and keeping the suspect out of balance. He's right, if you do it the way he shows, it's bad. Let's look at the problems with what he shows to do. First, it is only one move for the suspect to bend over and kick backwards. Worst of all, Lt Dillon is searching before cuffing. He had the suspect face away from him and lost sight of his hands in the process. Second, he is counting on the fact that the suspect won't hear him get his cuffs. There are officer deaths where the suspect did just that. Okay, now he has his cuffs in his gun hand and the suspect pulls a gun because he either did hear you pull your cuffs or knows that your system does that. Now, lets discuss what happens when you start to grab his fingers and cuff. He bends over and pulls forward and pulls his gun (maybe he also kicks you). Your reaction that is slower than his action is now slowed by the fact that you have cuffs in your gun hand while he is shooting you. Lastly, if he has a coat in the way or simply pulls his arms in line, cuffing can be difficult, allowing him time to make the above described moves while you are distracted with the cuffs. Again, if you do things poorly, yes they are dangerous.

GLENN @ 10/7/2011 3:07 PM

I HAVE BEEN IN AND OUT OF MY OFFICE FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS AND I CHECK MY MAIL USUALLY AT NIGHT. I STILL CANNOT MAKE THE PASSWORD YOU SENT WORK.

THIS IS WHAT I HAVE:vIhpb7h#HE0t1E

IS THE SECOND SYMBOL A CAPITOL "I" ?

ALSO THE FOURTH SYMBOL FROM THE END, "ZERO" OR CAPITOL LETTER "O" ?

IF POSSIBLE, PLEASE SET MY PASSWORD TO "HEADGATE"

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

GLENN

Guy Samuelson @ 10/11/2011 10:48 AM

As a training coordinator in a central florida Academy and someone who has worked with Kevin Dillon, as usual he is on the money with this technique. Working with KD has taught me to continually analyze the techniques I teach. I have seen many handcuffing techniques in my 25 years in LE, some I thought were good others bad. Through analyzing these I have found this particular one to be very efficient. We used to also teach the bending over forward at the waist thinking the person was off balance but then breaking it down and seeing that a subject with one movement can throw a powerful kick out of that. Again we need to make tham have two movements or more in order to react. Kevin is not afraid to challenge his own techniques which makes him unique. We owe it to ourselves and to the officers that we are training to make sure we give them the best techniques possible. Once again great job Kevin, keep it coming.

Buck @ 10/25/2011 10:11 AM

Great job. As a DT instructor in KS we have been teaching hands behind the back leaning forward, kneeling and prone for many years. I to have seen officers watch t.v. and decide over the head is the cool way of doing things but never think it through. Please keep up the good work and stay safe.

Terry @ 11/15/2011 2:36 PM

Great stuff the only thing I noticed that is the 1st thing you did on your method is make the suspect take a wide platform or spread out. You did not do that with the hands on the head. The platform of the suspect is the key component of suspect control and gaining the advantage for any method.

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