Throughout history, we have seen transformations in the use of police weapons. Previously, police baton was the favorite equipment used by many officers. However, newer equipment such as pepper spray and TASER has phased out batons.
The phasing away of baton brought about a divide among those who supported and criticized its usage. For supporters, the police baton is quite versatile for trained officers and should be an integral arsenal for the police force. However, the changing role and design of baton is only a sign that the police force is evolving.
Wooden Straight batons
Of course, you have seen these wooden straight batons and were the first to be issued to law enforcement. Today, some officers still carry them around for detaining suspects, guiding traffic, and communication. The wooden batons, when used by a trained officer, can create dangerous blows to the victim. It can cause concussive damage, bone breaks, and severe injuries when used on exposed target areas on the body.
Side Handle Batons
Another side of batons introduced in 1972 is the side-handle baton. It is widely used as a defensive tool instead of an offensive tool for striking offenders. Officers can use the side handle to hold the PR-24 like a splint, enabling the baton to block any incoming strikes. Today, it is available to expandable versions to fit conveniently on an officer’s belt.
Expandable Metal Baton
These are the latest police baton law enforcement agencies use today. They range from 16 to 31 inches; they are pretty versatile and suitable for any kind of assignment. While being light, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Because of the weight, the reload time is faster and allows officers to strike multiple times in a short time. However, to subdue larger attackers, it requires multiple strikes because of its stopping power.
Police Baton in Correctional Facilities
The police baton remains the best self-defense and control item in an officer tool kit. There is every likelihood that an inmate might attempt to cause harm or pain to an inmate or correctional officer in a correctional facility. In such a situation, the baton allows the officer to secure the inmate to the wall before putting handcuffs safely. With the baton, there is no need to apply force. However, it depends on how skillful the officer is in handling the baton.
A baton in a well-trained police officer can be the precise tool or intimidation factor for any target. While many officers prefer using guns, the place of a baton in law enforcement agencies cannot be neglected.