The Line Officer Function CJUS 104 Part 6: Making the Arrest


The Line Officer


CJUS 104

Part 6: Making the Arrest


Arrests: most dangerous part of police work

A. Defined as:

- taking a person into lawful custody to answer for a crime

- to seize by authority of law

(1) “A state of facts as would lead any man of reasonable care and prudence to believe and consciously entertain an honest and strong suspicion that a person is guilty of a crime.”

(2) Ten deadly errors of arrest

(a) Failure to watch the hands

- hands in sight = all times

- not in pocket /behind back / around corner of wall

- talking = watch eyes /hands

(b) Apathy

- insensitivity /lack of feeling for job

- not keeping mind on the contact

- just being routine

(c) Not being alert

- not ready for reaction to arrest

- not aware = going on around you

(d) Tombstone courage

- wanting to be super cop

- doing it by yourself

- not calling for backup

(e) Preoccupation

- not watching person to arrest

(f) Missing danger signs

- watch eyes /signs of anger

- hands /clenching into fists

- distractions = pointing to another

- asking you = pick up jacket /coat

(g) Taking a bad position

- turning gun-side to person

- standing within arms reach

- letting person get behind you

(h) Relaxing too soon

- believe suspect left before scene before checking

(i) Improper search /use of handcuffs

- missing weapons during search

- not handcuffing behind back

- loosening because of complaint

(j) Failure to maintain proficiency / equipment

- weapons misfires /handcuffs do not work /pepper spray empty

B. The words

“You are under arrest”

- evoke a strong reaction

(1) You = only barrier to freedom

- only officer to get by

- try to assault you /run over you

(2) Never know full impact of the arrest

- may be a serial criminal

- arresting for minor offense = killer

- may be drunk /drugged /deranged

- in shock /anxiety /claustrophobic

(3) No outward behavioral signs /stay alert

C. Valid arrest = four elements

(1) Intent to arrest

- warrant /probable cause

(2) Authority to arrest

- badge /uniform gives authority

- person must know you are an officer

- detective = show identification

- badge /credentials

(3) Actual /constructive seizure of person

- placed hand on person

- once touched = taken custody

- they run = escape

(4) Realization of person of their arrest

- submitted to your authority

- you have arrested them

D. Laws of arrest

(1) Broad authority of arrest powers

(2) Probable cause to believe person committed a felony

(3) Crime committed in officer’s presence

(4) Specific misdemeanor outside presence

- Washington State

- theft /assault /marijuana possession

- domestic violence /DWI /hit-and-run

(5) Taken into custody

- “case /manner authorized by law”

- otherwise = false arrest

(a) Charged with a crime

- violation of civil rights

- civil lawsuit

- loss of your job

E. Officer demeanor

- first is you attitude

(1) Being alert

- key to making a good arrest

- taking immediate steps = see a crime

(2) Confidence

- your abilities (know limitations)

- your authority (know the law)

- probable cause (able to articulate)

(3) Appearance

- physical = strength /authority

(4) Uniform

- symbol of authority /maintain

(2) Grooming

- communicates respect

- standing tall /erect

2. Planning the arrest

A. Keep it simple /flexible

(1) Location = tactical /personal advantage

- lighting = on suspect

- escape routes = minimize for suspect

- eliminate = available of weapons

- away from people

(2) Manpower

- always have backup

- one-on-one = no advantage

- unnecessary risks = injury /escape

- gangs /bikers = disadvantage

B. Techniques of arrest

(1) Attitude = control /confidence /decisive

- you know what you are doing

- hesitation /faltering /indecisiveness

- criminals = pickup on this right away

(2) Announce intent

- timing is critical

- when you have position of control

(a) Make a lawful arrest

- “Police officer” = your authority

- “Your under arrest” = your intent

- “… for burglary” = reason for

(3) Movement

- careful but deliberate

- watch approach

- consider surprise = resistance

- control hands immediately

(4) Custody

- handcuff ASAP

- refuse requests = person a prisoner

- seeing kids /restroom /clothing /etc.

- most requests = distract you

- suspect = trying to regain control

(a) Search completely

(b) Continually monitor arrestee

- now your responsibility

(c) Treat arrestee humanely

- reasonable force if necessary

3. Mechanics of arrest

- keep in mind /every arrest

A. Six basic concepts

(1) Prevent problems before they happen

- control suspect /at first encounter

- firm control /place where you want

- think ahead /keep control

(2) Maintain situational alertness

- focus on suspect = monitor hands

- be aware = all other persons

(3) Don’t over-commit

- aren’t sure you can handle = on own

- don’t be afraid to back away

(4) Never meet attack head-on

- allow suspect to pass by

- more vulnerable position

- always side-step attacker

(5) Always use superior force

- suspect resistance = dictate force used

- resistance = baton /spray /taser

- knife /gun = use handgun shotgun /AR

- you must survive /win every fight

(6) Take suspect to the ground

- get into fight /take them to the ground

- use weight /weapons /whatever

- easier to make arrest

- have them on the ground

B. Gun retention

- in any fight

(1) Possession of gun /number one concern

- all your attackers = fight for life

- gets your gun = at his mercy

(2) Key concepts to keeping your gun

- keep gun side away /strong leg back

- holster well maintained /safety strap

- keep distance = avoid arms reach

- disable = cuff as soon as possible

(3) Suspect does grab your gun

- back away /hold gun /keep in holster

- twist away /go for eyes /throat

(a) You can engage /try to incapacitate

- his focus /getting your gun

- go for eyes /throat with fingers

- gun out of holster /bring to chest

- try to turn to the side

(b) If possible = point at suspect /fire

4. Foot pursuits

- can happen /you did everything properly

A. Some suspects will always run

- they know the laws /department policy

- know you will not shoot /life in danger

- run = committed crime /traffic violations

(1) Foot pursuits = always dangerous

- often = take place at night

- flashlight one hand /gun in other

(2) Foot pursuit /one-on-one

- make officer vulnerable

B. Try to anticipate /discourage

(1) Look for warning signs

- glancing around /feet moving /raising

(2) Immediately distract or control

- sit them down /get them talking

- cannot talk and think about escape

(3) Explain the options

- “Right now you are under arrest for . .”

- arrest: obstructing /resisting /escape

(4) Decide whether you will pursue

- risk to you /others

- likelihood of catching

- your physical abilities

C. Guidelines for foot pursuits

- keep dispatcher /other officers notified

(1) Be sure of = locations /directions

- give physicals /clothing description

- “Adam 57,foot pursuit, S/B Maple from

Third, white male, brown hair, red jacket, levis.”

- “Suspect W/B from Maple on Fourth.”

- “Suspect N/B in alley from Fourth between Maple and Camden.”

(2) Pursue from vehicle as long as possible

- saving your energy

- able to communicate /think /plan

(3) Let suspect run interference

- unless you know better

- running into hazard area /angry mob

(4) You get close

- push suspect forward

- use your stun gun

- be aware of possibility of assault

- threat of falls /other hazards

(5) Minimize use of light

- suspect visible = keep light off

- run in shadows as you pursue

- use quick on-off

(6) Weapon

- generally = holstered /secured

- confronting suspect /turning corners

(7) Be alert for ambush

- especially = suspect stops /”gives up”

(8) Swing wide /stop at corners

- ideal place for ambush

- considering having weapon ready

- use flashlight for fast check of corner

- quick look at corner /squat if necessary

- put arm around corner /turn on light

(9) Lose visual contact

- slow down = look /listen carefully

- taken cover /hiding = gone to ground

- set up perimeter to contain

(a) Search with K-9

- let handler /spotter track suspect

- spotter = advises other officers

(b) Search with other officers

- provides protection

- cover a wider area

(10) Capture /custody options

- order to ground /take down to ground

- handcuff ASAP

(a) Know your limits

- angry /stressed /pumped

- do not become abusive

(b) Use only force which is justified

- other officer take control

(11) One person pursuits not recommended

5. Handcuffing

- securing hands = most important = safety

A. Handcuff every arrestee

- know department policy = all arrests

- only temporary restraints

- not used for long periods

- used while en-route to the jail

B. Guidelines for handcuffing

(1) Ensure cuffs are accessible

- consider carrying two sets

- only one set = place in center of back

- reach with either hand

(2) Train to handcuff with either hand

- “Load” cuffs so they are ready

- always behind the back

- back of hands together = if possible

(3) Always double lock

- prevent tightening /complaints

(4) Keep hands on cuffs = apply /remove

- cab be used against you

(5) Handcuff before searching

- hold = as you search

- change hands = maintain control

(6) Practice handcuffing = realistic situation

- someone trying to resist

C. Options

- can carry different cuffs = dept. policy

(1) Flex cuffs

- plastic band = around legs /hands /etc

- must be cut off

(2) Hinged cuffs

- hinge between cuffs /not a chain

- less movement of hands by suspect

(3) Leg irons

- handcuffs for the legs

- longer chain = walk short steps

(4) Thumb cuffs

- keeps hands together

- fingers able to move

D. Cuffing multiple suspects

- two suspects = one pair of cuffs

(1) Left arm of one = right arm of other

- running is much more difficult

(2) Two suspects = two pair of cuffs

- cuff arms interlocked = behind back

(3) Three suspects = two pair of cuffs

- handcuff together

- more violent in middle

6. Searching

A. Three basic searches

(1) Frisk = cursory search for weapons

- object seized must feel like a weapon

- consider handcuffing before searching

(2) Field search = incident to arrest

- thoroughly search = person /clothing

- remove all items /inspect and secure

- wallet /purse = front of suspect

(3) Strip search

- always conducted at jail /hospital

- serious legal ramifications

B. Guidelines for searching

(1) Search every person you receive

- cuffed prisoner from officer = search

- for your protection

(2) Use realistic /effective approach

- thorough /systematic

- use gloves = not thick gloves

(3) Do not limit search to weapons

- metal wire /handcuff key /contraband

- ask if they have any objects

(4) Improper /sloppy = unsafe as no search

- search ASAP

- maintain verbal /physical control

(5) If possible = same sex officer search

- fear /threat = not interfere with search

C. Search techniques

(1) Search systematically = head to foot

- one side at a time = slowly

- carefully squeeze clothing

- between legs /breast = use side or back of hand

(2) If possible = look before reaching into

- be aware of needles /syringes

- close attention = what you bring out

(3) Interruption /distraction = start over

- sensitive to body tension /verbal signs

- “don’t touch / it hurts”

(4) Contact and cover

- contact officer = searching

- cover officer = observing to protect

- both = never let guard down

(5) Consider searching again if:

- furtive movement /prisoner left alone

- your intuition

7. Transporting prisoners

A. You are responsible for prisoner safety while in your custody

(1) Any constitutional violations you commit

- excessive use of force

- illegal search /violating due process

(2) Any violation committed by others

(3) Protecting from self injury

- banging head while transporting

- but use caution

B. Guidelines for transporting

(1) Keep constant watch /be alert

- avoid opportunity = injury /escape / assault

(2) Do not grant prisoner requests

- if problem = get backup first

(3) Take most direct route to jail

- keep dispatch notified

- mileage = transporting opposite sex

(4) Keep conversation supportive

- listen = keep mind off escape /assault

(5) Search vehicle after transporting