In the hands of a trained law enforcement officer, no non-lethal tool of force has the precision or intimidation factor of a police baton. Correctional officers and riot police task forces are often in difficult situations, with unarmed but highly aggressive perpetrators approaching them in close proximity. In many cases, officers are hesitant to deploy electronically controlled weapons, either because of imminent engagement or because of policy requirements. For many reasons, officers are wise to hone their skills and use the police baton as their preferred defense tool when dealing with unarmed subjects or protesters.
The police baton is probably the steadiest intermediate, self-defense, and control item in an officer's toolkit. In a correctional facility, it is highly likely that an inmate or group of inmates will attempt to cause harm or distress to a correctional officer or another inmate. When inmates decide to lose control, the police stick allows them to safely and securely move the inmate to the wall, handcuffing them if necessary. With a police baton, instead of using blunt force, officers need to skillfully and safely push prisoners against a wall or door to help guide them to their next location.
An aggressive inmate might try to pick up a stick or other object in a correctional facility. When this happens, skilled officers will need to learn best practices and techniques to hold authority in unruly situations. These are the techniques officers will learn and use when handling batons in a correctional setting:
Baton Strike: Officers target appropriate body areas based on the level of threat they encounter. A safety tap is usually achieved by making contact with the top of the instrument in a downward motion. This technique tends to be the most effective because one side of the tool utilizes less force and the tip may glance.
Low Strike: Using the same downward force movement, lower body strikes are generally designed to affect leg muscle groups and impair the attacker's mobility. They are often painful, which in itself may help subdue the suspect.
Bladed Weapon Defense: When the perpetrator is using a bladed weapon at close range, officers are advised to distance themselves before drawing a pistol. While the situation may require deadly force, a baton can be used to quickly strike the wrist or arm, causing the suspect to drop the weapon.
Defensive Block: The unarmed aggressor is likely to have hand-to-hand combat skills. Those with a background in boxing or martial arts are at higher risk. The baton can be used to provide painful blocks for kicks and punches.