December 11, 2018

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Unauthorized Use of Arm-control Holds

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement, Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s tip is for law enforcement and corrections officers and it’s about chicken wings.  

Big problems come when officers use holds that are not authorized.

I know. You’re probably thinking that I’ve lost my marbles. But I’m not talking about food. I’m talking about unauthorized certain arm-control holds. These holds can vary. But they all involve forcing a person’s arms behind the back and some joint manipulation. Some versions involve torquing the straightened arms upward — away from the back and toward the head. These holds involve some risk of broken bones, as well as muscle, tendon, and other soft-tissue damage. 

Now, I worked the streets and freeways of LA for a long time, and I know that authorized wrist locks and arm control holds can be very effective. Not surprisingly, the big problems come when officers use holds that are not authorized or use control holds in situations where it’s not warranted.  

Here in California, there have been millions of dollars in payouts over the last few years due to alleged abuses of arm-control holds. When you’re working the streets or jails and it’s reasonably necessary for you to use a wrist or arm-control hold, then use it.  

But whenever possible, use the control holds you learned at the academy or the holds that are approved by your department. Don’t make up your own versions. And only use control holds when appropriate. Not to punish, harass, or intimidate anyone. 

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

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