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Weinblatt's tips: PoliceOne members respond

As we start 2006, I thought it would be interesting for you to see a few of the many emails that I have received this past year in response to my "Weinblatt's Tips" column on PoliceOne.com. These emails present a unique opportunity for all of us to learn from each other.

I really do read your comments, both positive and negative. Of course, I enjoy the positive feedback. I also learn from those who point out an approach to a law enforcement issue that may have been different from that detailed in my column.

B.W. pointed out another approach to handcuffing in response to my Creative Cuffing column. "The best way to accomplish this task is the butterfly method. It allows for 'stacked' or conventional arm placements, and dbl locking."

He further pointed out that the officer should "Place one wrist in a cuff, do not cinch all the way down. place the other wrist in the other cuff but close it ALSO through the first cuff. The result is two cuffs to each other with wrists in them (Butterflied). The 'overlapped' iron will take up a good deal of space right where you need it, the base of the wrist at the palm."

R.A. from a municipal police department in New York State, also sent another idea after reading the Creative Cuffing column. He emailed that in 1977, he learned an alternative method. He suggested that the officer should "place the cuffs above the elbow. In almost thirty years I've used this three times (twice required two sets of cuffs). While not quite as secure from a dexterity point of view, it is very disabling." He added: "I enjoy your articles in PoliceOne."

B.W. and R.A., thank you for offering two other creative cuffing approaches.

After the column on "Talking to Kids" went live online, C.R., with a Midwestern State Police agency, sent the following email:

"I read your articles routinely. The most recent one contained tips for speaking with children. I truly appreciated the information it contained. I have been teaching forensic interviewing for approximately 15 years. I felt all warm and fuzzy when I read your tips. The first 4 you listed are the ones I teach as "critical" lessons. It is nice to be validated."

C.R. concluded by writing: "Thank you for your pearls of wisdom."

No, no, thank you.

R.W., a sergeant with a Missouri city police agency, read my firearms training column but had two bones to pick with me. As he wrote in his email:

"I read your article, Firearms training: train like you play.

"First off, I have 12 years in law enforcement and I am a certified instructor in various areas of defensive tactics, to include officer survival, and a firearms instructor.

"I must agree with most of your article. But there are two things I found in it that disturb me.

1) train like we play- we are not out here to play.
2) using the term "weak hand"-that now leaves an excuse for an officer. "it's my weak hand", "I cant do it with my weak hand." Can we try to use the term "support hand", "support side", etc?

But again this is only my opinion. Thanks for your articles and information though."

R.W., thanks. While I think point number one is a little too serious, I agree with your comment in point number two. As a police writer and firearms instructor myself, as a result of your feedback, I have changed my terminology from "strong hand" and "weak hand."

D.D., an officer with a Wisconsin police department, commented at length on the "Weinblatt's Tips" column covering consent searches and the return of a driver's license:

"I could not agree more with your article on the PoliceOne.com, web site on consent searches and returning all paper work and Drivers License. However, if through the officer's training and experience he or she can develop reasonable suspicion of possible criminal activity based on some things they are trained to look for involved with drug activity the return of such items is not necessary since you took one investigation into another.

I think the best practice on consent, absent any reasonable suspicion, officer's should always give documents back, tell the driver he or she is free to leave, and follow-up by asking if they would answer some questions. This practice without a doubt would look in the courts eyes that the driver was told they were free to leave and any continued delay in them leaving resulted in them staying to ask questions on their own voluntarily."

D.D., I appreciate you agreeing with my column and pointing out a new twist in the situation.

The same column elicited this to the point response from E.Y., a retired law enforcement executive for a North Carolina urban police department:

"Read your article on search...well done."

Thank you, E.Y. And thanks to all of the readers at PoliceOne.com that help to make the "Weinblatt's Tips" column a reflection of innovative and exciting trends in law enforcement from many different jurisdictions. Future columns will continue to dovetail my experiences and training with the insights of our knowledgeable readers.

Keep the emails coming.

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