For your safety and protection the following guidelines should be observed when performing handcuffing procedures. Please read the information carefully to protect you, insure proper use and avoid injury. The following serves as a general guideline only. In-depth training on proper handcuffing procedures is highly recommended. Frequent review and practice of these procedures will help to increase your safety and efficiency.
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Remember handcuffs are a temporary restraining device. They are not intended for long term immobilization. It is recommended that periodic checks be made of the subject''s hands and wrists to ensure the restraint has not been tampered with and to avoid soft tissue or nerve damage. Handcuffs do not provide complete restraint. A handcuffed subject should be considered a threat. The restrained subject should be kept under observation.
Handcuffs should be carried in such a manner that they are accessible and ready for immediate use. To protect the restraint and to prevent loss, carry your handcuffs in a covered case. The case should be placed where the handcuffs can be quickly retrieved. Store the handcuffs in the "loaded" position by pushing the single strand through the ratchet until the last click (the tip of the single strand will extend above the double strand). In this position they are ready for immediate and effective use. Make sure the double lock is not engaged.
Two keys are provided. Carry both keys at all times. One should be readily available for the removal of the handcuffs, the other concealed on your person for emergency use.
In general, handcuff the subject first and then conduct a thorough search. The search procedure should insure that there are no weapons or foreign objects which could be used to pick the locks (i.e., ball point pen ink cartridges, pins, metal strips, etc.).
When practical, approach a subject from the side or rear and watch for any unexpected moves. Attempt to keep the subject off balance when applying the handcuffs. Keep yourself in a well balanced, alert stance while performing the handcuffing sequence.
Always handcuff the subject with his hands behind the back unless the subject is injured or has a physical disability.
After both wrists are secured, immediately double lock the handcuffs. This will prevent over tightening and make picking the locks more difficult. Properly adjusted, they should fit snugly and securely. Check that the skin is not pinched. Over tightening can cause soft tissue and/or nerve damage. Perform periodic checks to insure the individual''s hands are in good condition and to deter any possible escape.
Never handcuff a subject to yourself, to a fixed object, or to a vehicle.
Removing handcuffs can present as many possible safety threats as applying them. It is important to follow a handcuff removal procedure that keeps the subject off balance and discourages an escape attempt or assault. Having other law enforcement personnel present is highly recommended.