May 30, 2017

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Tire Deflation Devices

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with your safety and tire deflation devices or TDDs. 

Predictable is preventable. We can predict that a person who is trying to escape the police will swerve off the road to avoid hitting the spike strips.

Whether you call them spike strips, stop sticks, tire spikes or any of the other name brands that are out there TDDs are now widely accepted and widely used in law enforcement. We all know how deadly police pursuits can be. The concept behind the TDD is beautiful in its simplicity. Stop the pursuit by setting out a device to deflate the tires on the pursued vehicle. It sounds so simple. It sounds so easy.

My good friend Dale Stockton of Law Officer magazine recently pointed out to me that there have been at least 27 line of duty deaths that can be attributed to officers, deputies, troopers deploying or recovering tire deflation devices. Some were struck other police units in the pursuit and others were struck by vehicle being pursued. 

If you lay down the spike strips, get away from the roadway and out of the danger zone. Predictable is preventable. We can predict that a person who is trying to escape the police will swerve off the road to avoid hitting the spike strips. You can prevent getting hit once they swerve off the road by getting behind a barricade, and by barricade, I mean an abutment, guard rail or something much larger than a police car.  

There are a ton of other things to consider when laying spike strips. Do you have the time to deploy and then get to safety? Can you accurately judge the speed and distance of the approaching car? Have you received training in the use of the TDD under high-stress conditions?

Don’t get me wrong. I realize the TDD can be a great tool but remember that no pursuit is worth your life 

When it comes to spike strip deployment, if in doubt DON’T! 

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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