By Charles ‘Chip’ Huth
PoliceOne Special Contributor
There has been a resurgence of interest in neck restraints because of a release of compelling research in the Journal of Applied Physiology, “Mechanism of Loss of Consciousness During Vascular Neck Restraint” that confirm what many law enforcement trainers have known for years.
The research concludes neck restraints are a safe, viable and effective option for police officers in arrest and control scenarios.
It can be anticipated that many “new” systems of neck control will pop up in the training community due to the renewed interest.
The Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department has utilized the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint® System (or LVNR®), founded by Jim Lindell, for more than 41 years without one incident of death, serious injury, or litigation attributed to its use.
The term LVNR is trademarked to protect the integrity of the system and to distinguish it from other systems of neck control.
Lindell said, “There are many facial tissues, but only one Kleenex, and there are many techniques for controlling the neck, but only one LVNR.”
The National Law Enforcement Training Center, a not-for-profit corporation based in Kansas City, Missouri, is the sole certifying organization for the LVNR. The NLETC maintains strict certification standards for all trainers and practitioners to ensure they use the rigid principles that have made the LVNR the safest system of neck restraint in the world. The LVNR has several distinguishing features that enhance its practicality for law enforcement.
The objective of the LVNR is to control a resistant subject’s body by controlling their head and utilizing their neck to shift their balance to the rear. Practitioners of the LVNR learn about proportionality of force in three levels of control to address mild, moderate and extreme resistance on the part of a subject. Practitioners are also taught the principles of subject control as it relates to regulation of neck compression and destabilization.
The “neck brace principle” helps prevent injury to the subject’s neck by limiting lateral movement associated with high levels of resistance. The proper positioning of the encircling arm on the lateral portion of the neck helps prevent the subject from slipping into a bar-arm choke, which could expose the trachea to injury.
This is how the LVNR differs from a “choke hold” because it impacts the circulatory system while leaving the airway unobstructed and protected during the confrontation.
According to KCMOPD use of force statistics, approximately three percent of offenders subjected to the LVNR lose consciousness in the field. In the rare event this happens, it is the byproduct of a high level of resistance, not the objective of the officer employing the technique. Practitioners are taught post-application care and protocol for the well-being of the offender.
The NLETC currently conducts instructor certification courses in the proper application and instruction of the LVNR system. The instructor certification is valid for three-years after completion of the training. The success of the LVNR system in agencies across the nation has been a direct result of the efforts of these certified trainers who have worked with administrators to implement the technique on the basis it is safe, effective, and reduces injuries to both officers and subjects.
Law enforcement agencies are benefiting from fewer excessive force complaints and litigation than other use of force tactics and equipment utilized by officers.
We invite agency trainers and administrators with questions or concerns about the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint to contact the National Law Enforcement Training Center’s home office. I am humbled by the support and feedback we have received over the years, and look forward to continuing our service to the law enforcement community.
About the Author
Charles Huth serves as the President of the National Law Enforcement Training Center, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to delivering effective training to law enforcement, corrections, security and military personnel. Charles is a Sergeant with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department and has 21 years of law enforcement experience. He currently serves as a team leader for the Street Crimes Unit Tactical Enforcement Squad, and has coordinated and executed over 1500 high-risk tactical operations. Charles is a certified national trainer in defensive tactics, an expert witness in the field of police operations and reasonable force, and a Subject Matter Expert on police use of force.
Charles is an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri—Kansas City, and a part-time instructor at the Kansas City Missouri Police Leadership Academy. He serves as a consultant for the KCPD’s Office of General Counsel, the Missouri Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. He is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and the National Tactical Officers Association. He is the President and CEO of CDH Consulting L.L.C., a law enforcement consulting and training company. Charles has 33 years of experience in the martial arts, with a background in competitive judo and kickboxing. He is the coauthor of Unleashing the Power of Unconditional Respect-Transforming Law Enforcement and Police Training-CRC Press (June 2010). He is a veteran of the United States Army and lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Krista. Charles can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.