The DeSantis Redi-Cuff Key: Immediate access to an essential tool
I’ve had the opportunity to showcase a lot of police equipment in my time. The late 80s saw the introduction of the Steamlight SL series of flashlights and all through the 90s, our instructor batons had the Hindi Baton Caps on them.
I wish Border Patrol Captain Tom Ferrandino had invented the Redi-Cuff Key a few years earlier than he did, because if he had, I would have worked this officer safety tool into my presentations.
The Redi-Cuff Key isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around about as long as I’ve been retired from Calibre Press. But, it is one officer safety tool that is unfortunately often overlooked by both street cops and trainers alike.
In today’s age of police civil litigation, handcuffing is one area where a lot of street cops tend to perform in an almost “routine” fashion; and we all know what “routine” can lead to.
In fact, one of my longest and most tedious expert witness journeys of late was a 15-hour, four-hop flight from southwest Florida up to Anchorage, Alaska. Before my 15-hour return flight back home, I gave 25 minutes of courtroom testimony in defense of an officer being sued for excessive force due to improper handcuffing.
The arresting officer wasn’t able to immediately access his cuff key in order to double-lock the cuffs. I explained to the jury that this was one of those exigent “cuff and stuff-type” arrest situations. Fortunately they agreed. But the long wait between the Notice of Claim and the Jury Trial didn’t make it any easier for the officer.
Could the lawsuit have been avoided had the cop double-locked the cuffs? Who knows. But the fact remains that double-locking (so the cuffs don’t tighten up) is an important part of the handcuffing process.
DeSantis Gunhide liked Ferrandino’s Redi-Cuff Key system so much that they trademarked the concept and now market the system. The Redi-Cuff Key system only consists of two parts, the black Velcro loop material that is affixed to the inside flap of your cuff case and a standard DeSantis Sherlock handcuff key that has the corresponding hook material permanently sewn to it.
The Velcro hook material on the key keeps it from slipping if your fingers get wet from sweat or other fluids. No more reaching into your pocket or trying to remove your cuff key ring from your belt. The cuff key is right where it’s supposed to be, safely on your cuff case.
Tom learned early on during his 20-plus year career with the US Border Patrol that cuff keys need to be accessible during the heat of battle. Tom’s upper leg was punctured by his own cuff key (that he carried in his pants pocket) while he was trying to ground stabilize an illegal alien drug smuggler he had arrested one night.
For tactical reasons, Tom never liked carrying his keys loose on his Sam Browne. So he invented the Redi-Cuff Key system, used it in the field for a while, and the rest as they say is history.
DeSantis, through Tom, sent me four Redi-Cuff Key sets for T&E. I gave two to a couple of Florida deputy buds of mine (guys who are known to use their cuffs a lot) to try on the street.
I sent a third up north to New York to a cop whose arrests stats rival mine when I was on the job. I kept one for myself that I promptly tore into looking for flaws. I couldn’t find any.
The adhesive DeSantis uses on the loop material forms a bond on leather that is virtually permanent, and the hook material sewn to the key is stitched so tight, it can’t be removed.
By the way, all three buds refused to return the ones I gave to them — ‘nuff said about the desirability of the Redi-Cuff Key.
If you’re looking to buy yourself a belated Christmas present or an early birthday gift, invest in this item. You won’t be sorry and you’ll never have to learn like Tom did (the hard way) about not having your cuff key “Redi”-ly accessible.
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