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  • Detaining in the front seat???

    The recent story of a boy escaping the front seat in cuffs and jumping off a bridge got me thinking again about detaining people in the front seat.

    What's the logic behind this? Is it because the patrol cars don't have a cage? As this boy showed, it's plenty easy to get out of the car even if you're handcuffed and belted in as long as the door opens from the inside.

    I know several agencies do this, not just VSP. Can anyone shed some light on the reasoning for this policy?

  • #2
    Other officers in my agency do this as well. Their logic is that they can keep an eye on someone in the front seat better. Further if need be, are more able to get to them to keep them from bringing a weapon to bear.

    Personally it gives me the chills....if you are detained...you are tossed THEN put in the BACK seat.
    An impressionable child in a tumultuous world, and they say I'm at a difficult stage... --Meat Loaf

    Professional Stupidity Recognition Technician

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LA Cop
      The recent story of a boy escaping the front seat in cuffs and jumping off a bridge got me thinking again about detaining people in the front seat.

      What's the logic behind this? Is it because the patrol cars don't have a cage? As this boy showed, it's plenty easy to get out of the car even if you're handcuffed and belted in as long as the door opens from the inside.

      I know several agencies do this, not just VSP. Can anyone shed some light on the reasoning for this policy?
      We do not have cages in our vehicles, never have. As far as why we transport up front, I dont know. You may have to ask a guy who has been on for a real good while, since its just what we have always done. I kinda prefer it though, it easy to see what they are doing, and easy to gain control of them if they are acting foolish. Yes you have some problems by having them up front you might not by having them in the back, but those can be mitigated with experience. If the prisoner is out of control we have leg ties, or if we must, call a local unit with a cage.

      As a side note, I find that its real easy to interview on the way to jail when they are up front with you also. I dont know if its a psycological thing, but when they are up front they seem more open to conversation and their tounge loosens up....

      Comment


      • #4

        Can't say what the policy is with the VSP, but I almost never see any of their units with partitions (cages) in them. Typically, you don't want someone "behind you" with no cage in your car. If a prisoner somehow got their hands loose from behind their back, they could choke you to death or at least try to gain aceess to your weapon. {Also, the rear doors and power windows don't work from the inside; but the front passenger door can be opened from the inside at anytime.}

        When I was a sheriff's deputy, we had both caged and non-caged cars. If you had no cage, the prisoner sat up front with you. With a cage, they rode in the back seat - on the passenger side.

        Sad that this kid died, but he brought it on himself. It was not the fault of the VA State Police trooper who made the arrest......but I am sure that the vultures and pro-illegal immigration folks will try to throw him to the jackals as soon as possible.

        The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

        The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

        ------------------------------------------------

        "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by VSPClem
          We do not have cages in our vehicles, never have. As far as why we transport up front, I dont know. You may have to ask a guy who has been on for a real good while, since its just what we have always done. I kinda prefer it though, it easy to see what they are doing, and easy to gain control of them if they are acting foolish. Yes you have some problems by having them up front you might not by having them in the back, but those can be mitigated with experience. If the prisoner is out of control we have leg ties, or if we must, call a local unit with a cage.

          As a side note, I find that its real easy to interview on the way to jail when they are up front with you also. I dont know if its a psycological thing, but when they are up front they seem more open to conversation and their tounge loosens up....
          As stated ... we have never had cages ... well, not for people anyway.

          Cages cut down on space, limit the car's use for transportation of other officials, dignitaries, limits use by victims or participants in accidents being investigated in poor down rains and freezing snows, limits space available to trooper for all the stuff he needs just to operate independent of an area office (sometimes several counties share one), and drives up the costs. There also are studies that indicate a lone officer using a car with a cage may sometimes be more lax in his cuffing and searching, more likely to let his gard down.

          There are times when a cage would be nice, but most troopers work areas where local law enforcement has cages available. We also have the leg restraint red rope which maybe looks silly as they consist of a rope with a hook and a big knot .... but if the knot is adjusted correctly so that the knot (when placed outside and the door shut on the rope) holds the feet all the way to the passenger door with the front seat all the way back, against the front of the seat, they work!

          Without cages, by transporting up front, seatbelted in, with hands cuffed behind the back, one has control and a view of the prisoner which they don't necessarily have when they are in a cage in back out of sight.

          We just don't have enough need of the cages to warrant their added expense and installation and costs in usefulness of the car's back seat in my opinion, and appearantly in that of those in Richmond who decide such issues.


          "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

          "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

          >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

          Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by t150vsuptpr
            Cages cut down on space, limit the car's use for transportation of other officials, dignitaries, limits use by victims or participants in accidents being investigated in poor down rains and freezing snows, limits space available to trooper for all the stuff he needs just to operate independent of an area office (sometimes several counties share one),.
            Hadnt even thought of that as a reason...I do have a lot of crap in that car, and there is NO way I could do it all without access to the back seat. Either way, Ive never been in a situation where I said "Gee I wish I had a cage" except once, and when that happened. I pulled over, got out of the car, called a deputy, and found him a cage.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LA Cop
              I know several agencies do this, not just VSP. Can anyone shed some light on the reasoning for this policy?
              One of my former Chiefs told me he didn't want them in our cars because of resale value......

              New Chief there has them in all cars now including his.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VSPClem
                We do not have cages in our vehicles, never have. As far as why we transport up front, I dont know. You may have to ask a guy who has been on for a real good while, since its just what we have always done. I kinda prefer it though, it easy to see what they are doing, and easy to gain control of them if they are acting foolish. Yes you have some problems by having them up front you might not by having them in the back, but those can be mitigated with experience. If the prisoner is out of control we have leg ties, or if we must, call a local unit with a cage.

                As a side note, I find that its real easy to interview on the way to jail when they are up front with you also. I dont know if its a psycological thing, but when they are up front they seem more open to conversation and their tounge loosens up....
                Do you guys receive training on how to handle an unruly suspect while driving. I am more curious at how serious they take the situation they are putting you in by not having a cage.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i was told in the academy that "if you treat someone like an animal, they'll act like an animal" - hence no cages. regardless, i think that at the very least, cages need to be installed in some cars - maybe to just those people permanently assigned to the midnight shfit where arrests are more frequent. i can't believe that as a state agency, troopers need to rely on and burden our local brothers, who are also busy, to transport someone. in simple math, that takes another officer off the road, leaving less coverage, less back-up units available for others, and costing the local department in the area of $50-100 an hour. additionally, i just refuse to subscribe to the "need the room" philosophy. if you truly need more room in a CVPI, you're carrying too much junk, period.
                  The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MFP4073
                    i was told in the academy that "if you treat someone like an animal, they'll act like an animal" - hence no cages. regardless, i think that at the very least, cages need to be installed in some cars - maybe to just those people permanently assigned to the midnight shfit where arrests are more frequent. i can't believe that as a state agency, troopers need to rely on and burden our local brothers, who are also busy, to transport someone. in simple math, that takes another officer off the road, leaving less coverage, less back-up units available for others, and costing the local department in the area of $50-100 an hour. additionally, i just refuse to subscribe to the "need the room" philosophy. if you truly need more room in a CVPI, you're carrying too much junk, period.
                    Well, I can count on one hand the number of times A Trooper I work with has needed a local to transport for us....versus countless times we have had to come off the road to run an intoxylizer for them, which I have no problems with....its a team game right? If you wanna talk about us costing the local dpt money, we can go into how much we shell out of our dpts pocket when our tracking dogs come out on their calls, our bomb dogs, SCUBA, Med flight, etc etc...but thats not the point of the thread right?

                    As far as needing to carry a lot of stuff, if you dont go to your office but once or twice a week, and dont have anyone working w/ you that can relay stuff you need, you better be totally self sufficient.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BIG ROB
                      Do you guys receive training on how to handle an unruly suspect while driving. I am more curious at how serious they take the situation they are putting you in by not having a cage.
                      I recieved DT for while in the vehicle. First and foremost you make sure the prisoner is secure, seatbelt locked against them, leg restraints if need be, and seat all the way forward. That really limits their motion right there. If they spit I pull their shirt over the head, if they might pee I make "trashbag pants" If they start slamming their head on the window, I roll it down. If they rock left and right I use my right hand to hold them agains the inside of the door. If they manage to un-do the seatbelt, I pull over put it back on. That about sums up any of my problems. The only thing I dont like about it is the cloth seats they sit on...but it cant be perfect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        MFP4073,
                        It's been years since I last called upon a deputy or other local to transport a prisoner, it just isn't an issue very often. I usually can get another trooper if I have more than one or two to take in, but we also work pretty close with deputies and when it's a situation involving multiple arrests, usually several deputies are there on scene anyway ....
                        .... and besides, there is a greater chance that it is me transporting the deputy's additional prisoners.

                        Near 30 years and only one problem prisoner who spit on me, and then almost immediately he was just "so sorry". I don't understand y'all's problem with how we do it ... as if they are cuffed (hands in back) and restrained and belted in, and they are right there beside you within your reach and you have a light on them at night, and once you explain the "rules" ..... it just works.

                        When it doesn't work, drag out an emergency blanket (we each have at least two, usually more) and "get creative".

                        Above all .... if they are under arrest and being transported, do it right .... every time.

                        As to "needing room" for stuff, it's easy to go several days without getting to the office, or one may get a message to be half way across state by sundown and be ready to stay a week or two. I have a long list of just "minimum equipement to carry" which includes riot gear, weapons, ammo, cameras, batteries, lights, blankets, fingerprint stuff, bio gear, stingers, fire ext, FA kit, flares, forms for every stop and use, code books, acc books, court stuff, and "on and on" and etc. My car is my office, an office has to be stocked to be of any use, and "stock" takes room.

                        Do you guys receive training on how to handle an unruly suspect while driving. I am more curious at how serious they take the situation they are putting you in by not having a cage.
                        They aren't putting me in a cituation, we didn't have cages when I asked them for a job. I have seen some locals with cages load prisoners, often not cuffed or if so, with hands in front as they are relying on that cage. I want them where I can watch them myself. It's all in how you are trained and how you adhear to that training I guess.

                        The only thing I dont like about it is the cloth seats they sit on...but it cant be perfect.
                        Had a 10-55 hooker from Norfolk pi55 in the pass seat once in my '98, took two days and near two full cans of the industrial cleaner / bacteria-cide stuff to clear the smell, but it did the trick. No stains either. I was glad I was off thoes two days !

                        Last edited by t150vsuptpr; 12-04-2006, 08:17 PM.
                        "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                        "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                        >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                        Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would seem to me in almost 2007, every patrol car should have a cage, regardless whether you work alone or with a partner. The most important thing is officer safety, not resale value or room for visitors. As long as you search your suspect properly, handcuff him behind his back with the back of his hands together (not palm to palm), and seatbelt him in, then you will be safe in a car with a cage.

                          After 18 years of working the streets of Los Angeles and arresting a lot of righteous bad guys, I have found that to be the safest way.

                          That being said, for those of you who don't have cages and work alone, then I would agree, it would be safer to transport a suspect in the front seat. It would obviously be pretty dumb to put him behind you without a cage.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LA Copper
                            It would seem to me in almost 2007, every patrol car should have a cage, regardless whether you work alone or with a partner. The most important thing is officer safety, not resale value or room for visitors. As long as you search your suspect properly, handcuff him behind his back with the back of his hands together (not palm to palm), and seatbelt him in, then you will be safe in a car with a cage.

                            After 18 years of working the streets of Los Angeles and arresting a lot of righteous bad guys, I have found that to be the safest way.

                            That being said, for those of you who don't have cages and work alone, then I would agree, it would be safer to transport a suspect in the front seat. It would obviously be pretty dumb to put him behind you without a cage.
                            I agree, "righteous" bad guys (cool term Im stealing it) should be in the back behind a cage. But I dont know if riding up front is necessarily any more dangerous IF you follow proper procedure. We had a trooper shot transporting a guy in the back many years ago. SO far, knock on wood, we havent had any serious problems transporting up front. It can happen anywhere, but if you do what you said (properly search, cuff and belt in) you can transport fine up front. Then again, I dont know any other way.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VSPClem
                              I recieved DT for while in the vehicle. First and foremost you make sure the prisoner is secure, seatbelt locked against them, leg restraints if need be, and seat all the way forward. That really limits their motion right there. If they spit I pull their shirt over the head, if they might pee I make "trashbag pants" If they start slamming their head on the window, I roll it down. If they rock left and right I use my right hand to hold them agains the inside of the door. If they manage to un-do the seatbelt, I pull over put it back on. That about sums up any of my problems. The only thing I dont like about it is the cloth seats they sit on...but it cant be perfect.

                              Glad you got a plan....

                              Comment

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