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ASP Responds to PoliceOne Members Concerns Regarding "Pickable" Handcuffs

ASP Handcuffs are certified by the National Institute of Justice under NIJ Standard 0307.01.

Recently, Lieutenant Jeff Vance of the Federal Reserve Police in San Francisco circulated a video on the internet showing two scenes of alleged "picking" of older model ASP Handcuff Lock Sets. Lieutenant Vance sent his video to ASP stating, "I understand this demonstration is not 100% realistic as these show the cuffs in front." The video shows the use of a large knife and of a formed paperclip to turn the lock bar of ASP Handcuffs that have not been double locked.

The design of ASP Tactical Handcuffs provides a series of interchangeable Lock Sets with a variety of key designs to meet the needs of various nations and agencies.

The handcuffing procedure shown in the video violates all standard police handcuffing principles. In addition, the Lock Set shown in the video is not the Lock Set currently being used in ASP Handcuffs.

ASP trains that subjects should be:

  • 1. Handcuffed with both hands behind their back.
    2. Handcuffed with the backs of their hands together.
    3. Restrained with the handcuffs double locked.
    4. Thoroughly searched after being handcuffed.
    5. Not given access to objects such as handcuff keys, shims or large knives.

All handcuffs currently being shipped by ASP incorporate a laminated, heat treated stainless steel Lock Set. These high security Lock Sets can be identified by the yellow double lock indicator that is visible through the frame.

ASP does not advocate handcuffing subjects with their hands in front of the body. Handcuffs should be double locked. All subjects should be thoroughly searched after cuffing. However, should a subject gain access to a pick or shim, the new ASP high security Lock Set is the most tamper resistant standard key lock currently on the market. These new, Lock Sets are available without charge to individuals who wish to update older model ASP Handcuffs. To have handcuffs updated at no charge under the ASP lifetime guarantee, they should be sent to:

Armament Systems and Procedures, INC
Technical Support Section
2511 E Capitol DR
Appleton, WI 54911


ASP has received a number of inquiries from agencies in response to the video that was circulated by Lieutenant Jeff Vance of the Federal Reserve Police in San Francisco. The following e-mail thread is provided for your reference.

Message from Terry Baldowsky:

Several of my department members have purchased the new ASP handcuffs. While we like them, they do not fit any of our cuff holders. Is there a cuff case made for them yet? Also, there was an article in the Missouri State Police News about how easy and prone to picking the new ASP Cuffs are. The article quoted a Lt. in a San Francisco Department and was a re-print. If you could shed some light on the subject of picking the cuffs and a cuff case, it would be appreciated.

- Terry Baldowsky

Response from Terry Naughton:

Thank you for getting this to me. You have two distinct questions, so let me respond to each.

Cases: We do have a series of cases that are available from ASP. These include full closure and quick release models. I have attached a copy of the ASP Tactical Handcuff Sell Sheet, and they are shown on Page 2. There are also several leather and nylon manufacturers that are producing cuff cases that fit the ASP Tactical Handcuffs. Much like when a new gun is introduced, it takes a bit of time for manufacturers to get a pair of cuffs and design a new case.

Pick Resistance: I appreciate that you are giving us an opportunity to respond rather than continuing to deliver this information across the Internet.

If you have not had an opportunity to see the video that accompanied the letter, I can tell you that three things are important in all handcuff training that are not found in this video. In fact, the lieutenant in the video has stated that the situation is “not 100% accurate.” In this scenario, he has one hand cuffed in front of his body, the double lock is not engaged and he is holding a large tactical knife. As you can see, this is a very disadvantaged situation for an arresting officer and against everything that is taught in training. Here is what I feel is important:

  • 1. ASP does not suggest that people are handcuffed with the hands in front of the body.
    2. ASP always suggests to lock the double lock.
    3. An officer should never leave a suspect with a sharp object such as a knife while restrained.

The cuffs in question were of an early production lot, and we have since changed the Lock Set which we believe makes the ASP handcuff the most pick resistant cuff on the market. In fact, all cuffs coming off the production line incorporate this new feature.

As you know, ASP places officer safety first. We manufacture using the finest materials available and back each product we make with a lifetime guarantee. If you are not confident with the set of cuffs you have purchased, I would be glad to exchange them for a new set for you.

- Terry Naughton
Director of Sales

Reply from Terry Baldowsky:

Thank you. None of the members of the department want to exchange the cuffs. We like them. All of us know ASP has been committed to quality products from the very beginning. We wanted to ask you, not some article that has been reproduced. All of us here in Harvard have seen too many articles making false statements and using tactics that should never be used and blame a product. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions.

- Terry Baldowsky

2511 East Capitol Drive
Appleton, WI 54911
Office (800) 236-6243 (920) 735-6242
Fax (800) 236-8601 (920) 735-6245
Email Admin@asp-net.com



ASP Tactical Handcuffs


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