Handcuffs are one of the most essential and frequently used tools in law enforcement. Police officers receive hours or days of training in the appropriate use and application of handcuffs.

Types

Police officers are usually trained in the most common types of handcuffs; chained and hinged. The officer is usually trained in whichever cuff his department issues as standard.

Situational Considerations

Most training is in the actual application of handcuffs. Techniques vary depending on the situation at hand. For example, an officer will handcuff a compliant shoplifting suspect differently than a violent felon held at gunpoint.

Techniques

Officers are trained to verbally or physically place suspects into a position in which the officer can gain the greatest control. Examples of such positions can vary from an awkward standing position, facing away from the officer with hands on head to a prone position, where the suspect is lying face down with arms and legs spread out or contorted. Officers are then trained to safely approach and cuff the subject behind his back.

Legal Issues

Along with the physical training, officers are trained in various legal aspects of handcuffing. These topics include reasons for handcuffing (i.e., detentions and arrests) and possible medical issues that could apply.