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  • Prisoner Transport Van

    Just looking for some input on how everyone else who has prisoner vans (aka- wagon, paddy wagon, etc) takes care of a certain issue. We have been told that our van has to have seat belts for the prisoners. The van is older, it's an open box with benches down each side. In the past, its been a matter of load 'em in and close the door.

    Now, allegedly because of the accreditation process we're going through, the prisoners need to be seatbelted. So, they have gone and added a row of seatbelts down each bench. The consequence of this is that now we have to step inside the back of the van with the prisoner.

    My initial instinct reaction to this is that it's an officer safety hazard to be up in that van with one (or possibly more) prisoners. Granted, they are already handcuffed and searched, and there are always two cops manning the van. Anyone else have thoughts or input on this? Maybe I'm overthinking things again?

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    if we needed the van its because they were combative or because they were sprayed. the way i look at it if they paid for the ride then they got a seat belt in the cruiser, but if they wanted a refund then the ride was fast and bumpy in the van without one. just like your department we have older vans without them.
    perception is the mother of all [email protected]#$ ups
    O Landfill two, you are twice the man Landfill one was. Y, thank you ma'am

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    • #3
      Hell, we don't seatbelt them in...I ain't leaning over an inmate who I'm transferring on the off chance he'd take my ear in his mouth. He can sit still and not move and I'll do my damndest to keep from getting in a wreck.
      Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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      • #4
        My agency uses a 15 passenger van for the larger transports. We don't belt them in. It has the standard bench seating arraingement and a partition behind the front seats.

        School buses that carry our nation's most precious resources; OUR CHILDREN, don't have seat belts.
        I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

        Douglas MacArthur

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        • #5
          unh, if your command staff is telling you that CALEA mandates prisoners in a transport van be seatbelted, I'd suggest you tell them to re-read the Detainee Transportation section of the CALEA manual. CALEA does not mandated that seatbelts be installed or used in a transport wagon.

          The Detainee Transportation section's references to "restraint" refer to handcuffs, locks, and so forth. It in no way mandates that prisoners be seatbelted in a wagon.

          We have been accredited since 1994 and just went through our latest assessment last week. Our accreditation manager is a CALEA assessor and actually know what he what he is talking about. We went through the Detainee Transportation section this morning and found nothing that mandated seatbelts.

          Many accredited agencies and those seeking accreditation blame CALEA for unpopular policies. I am not CALEA's biggest booster, but I feel accreditation takes a lot of unwarranted heat because command officials are unwilling to cowboy up and take responsibility for a distasteful policy. If your command staff feels that prisoners need to be seatbelted for safety reasons or to avoid lawsuits or because they worry bad guys will be administered "screen tests", they should have the integrity to say so.

          By the way, as a long time member of the Emerald Society, I appreciate everyone's political correctness in not referring to a transport van as a "paddy wagon".
          John from Maryland

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          • #6
            No seatbelts down here in So Fla. We are a accreditied agency by ACA. None of our transports have sat belts for our clientel.
            LET IT RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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            • #7
              If its your policy then it will be up to you to perform the function of buckling your arestees up; or risk the write up. Its all about training. One person mentioned that they dont want to risk having an arestee bite their ear off. If done correctly this risk is negated. Instruct the prisonner to look away from you. Immediately your weak hand pushes their head back against the seat, with their mouth pointed away from you. Using your other hand you reach and buckle the belt. After done a few times it is a very quick method. By having your weak had maintinaing control of the prisoner, you have a ability to rapidly push off (and push their head farther back) and disengage should the situation go to crap. Bring one prisoner in buckle them in, bring in the next, buckle them it, etc; dont put yourself in the van with multiple unsecured passengers.
              Facts are meaningless, they can be used to prove anything.

              Stay Safe

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              • #8
                I buckle them in my cruiser. Left hand pushes on the upper chest to keep your balance as you reach over them. Then swing your elbow towards the nose; that gets them to turn thier heads.

                We don't buckle them in the van though.
                I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                Douglas MacArthur

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                • #9
                  Our department mandates that you seat belt them in patrol cars. In the vans, they have seatbelts. If they have seatbelts you're not required (our policy only) to unhandcuff. In one of our older vans, no seatbelts...so no handcuffs. We make them slide down and seatbelt themselves. Strangely enough about 8 out of 10 do.

                  We have two types of vans. Bench in the middle, divided so they look towards the side and the more standard vans...looking at each other, benches on the outside. And personally. I think it's bad policy to keep loading and keep loading...unhandcuffed in the van. Yet we do it... I think the worry is a car accident or something of that sort, they'll be trapped. I dunno. Our van is typically used within a 2 mile radius of our main station where the city jail is located.

                  Only one of our divisions uses regular transport (everyone else has cages, full cages, bars and all) vans. Most of the people they transport are drunk and disorderly. So 5 to 10 people in a van, with one driver....bad news when they get to the sally port. One day something is going to happen.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KenW. View Post
                    My agency uses a 15 passenger van for the larger transports. We don't belt them in. It has the standard bench seating arraingement and a partition behind the front seats.

                    School buses that carry our nation's most precious resources; OUR CHILDREN, don't have seat belts.
                    I'm with KenW, our children who ride in school buses everyday are not required to be seatbelted in, but dirtbag criminals have to be "Safe", hey its their choice that put them there,so I say too bad, take your chances. Stay Safe out there.
                    law dog

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