C D Truncheon Biography & Facts
A baton (also known as a truncheon or nightstick) is a roughly cylindrical club made of wood, rubber, plastic, or metal. It is carried as a compliance tool and defensive weapon by law-enforcement officers, correctional staff, security guards and military personnel.
A baton may be used in many ways as a weapon. It can be used defensively to block; offensively to strike, jab, or bludgeon; and it can aid in the application of armlocks. The usual striking or bludgeoning action is not produced by a simple and direct hit, as with an ordinary blunt object, but rather by bringing the arm down sharply while allowing the truncheon to pivot nearly freely forward and downward, so moving its tip much faster than its handle. Batons are also used for non-weapon purposes such as breaking windows to free individuals trapped in a vehicle, or turning out a suspect's pockets during a search (as a precaution against sharp objects).
Some criminals use batons as weapons because of their simple construction and easy concealment. The use or carrying of batons or improvised clubs by people other than law enforcement officers is restricted by law in many countries.
Other names for a baton are a truncheon, cosh, billystick, billy club, nightstick, lathi, or stick.
Baton comes from French word bâton (stick) which comes from old French Baston and Latin bastum
In the Victorian era, police in London carried truncheons about one foot long called billy clubs. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this name is first recorded in 1848 as slang for a burglars' crowbar. The meaning "policeman's club" is first recorded 1856. The truncheon acted as the policeman's 'Warrant Card' as the Royal Crest attached to it indicated the policeman's authority. This was always removed when the equipment left official service (often with the person who used it). Earlier on the word was used in vulgar Latin (bastο—a stick helping walking, from basta—hold).
The Victorian original has since developed into the several varieties available today. The typical truncheon is a straight stick made from wood or a synthetic material, approximately 32 mm (1+1⁄4 in) in diameter and 460–910 mm (18–36 in) long, with a fluted handle to aid in gripping. Truncheons are often ornamented with their organizations' coats of arms. Longer truncheons are called "riot batons" because of their use in riot control. Truncheons probably developed as a marriage between the club or military mace and the staff of office/sceptre.
Straight batons of rubber have a softer impact. Some of the kinetic energy bends and compresses the rubber and bounces off when the object is struck. Rubber batons are not very effective when used on the subject's arms or legs, and can still cause injury if the head is struck. That is why most police departments have stopped issuing them. The Russian police standard-issue baton is rubber, except in places such as Siberia, where it can be cold enough that the rubber may become brittle and break if struck. The traffic baton is red to make it more visible as a signaling aid in directing traffic. In Russia traffic batons are striped in black and white for the same reason, and in Sweden they are white. Until the mid-1990s, British police officers carried traditional wooden truncheons of a sort that had changed little from Victorian times. Since the late 1990s, the collapsible baton is issued except for public order duties, where a fixed, acrylic baton is used. Side-handled batons were issued for a while, but fell out of favour.
In New York, the police used to use two kinds of batons depending on the time. The one for daytime was called a day-stick and was 280 mm (11 in) in length. Another baton, that was used at night, was 660 mm (26 in) long and called a night-stick, which is the origin of the word "nightstick". The night-stick was longer so it could provide extra protection which was thought to be necessary at night.
In modern police training, the primary targets are large nerve clusters, such as the common peroneal nerve in the mid-thigh and large, easily targetable muscle groups, such as the quadriceps and biceps. The baton is swung in fast, "snapping" strikes to these areas, sometimes only making contact with the tip. Taken together, these are intended to impair the subject's ability to continue advancing (by striking the leg) or attack (by striking the arm) by causing transitory neurapraxia (temporary muscle pain, spasm and paralysis due to nerve injury). Modern systems strictly prohibit hitting the skull, sternum, spine, or groin unless such an attack is conducted in defense of life, with many jurisdictions considering this deadly force.
Before the 1970s, a common use of the police baton was to strike a suspect's head with a full-force overhand motion in order to stun them or knock them unconscious by cerebral concussion, similar to the pre-baton practice of buffaloing with the handle of a revolver. However, this practice had two major liabilities. First, there was a high risk and incidence of death or permanent injury, as the difference in force between that required to concuss a suspect into non-resistance and that which would fracture their skull tends to be narrow and unpredictable. Second, there were problems with reliability, as resistance to cerebral concussion varies widely between individuals, and head strikes that did not disable the suspect were found to merely escalate the encounter. Officer Arthur Lamb, a well-known trainer on the baton, once stated:
I've trained over 200 police departments, comprising over ten thousand men. In every class, I ask the officers if they've ever seen a subject subdued with one blow to the head. None of them ever have. What you're doing when you hit a man in the head is first, creating a serious danger of death, and second, you're numbing the one part of the body that can stop him. If you use my method with one or two strikes and step back, he realizes that the thing has gone against him, and the confrontation is over. But if you hit him in the head and put him into a state of shock where he is almost immune to pain, and now enraged beyond reason, the only thing left for you to do is beat him into the ground. This is why so many police brutality charges came about when batons were used the old-fashioned way.
As a result, civil lawsuits and claims of police brutality resulted in revised training for officers.
Batons in common use by police around the world include many different designs, such as fixed-length straight batons, blackjacks, fixed-length side-handle batons, collapsible straight batons, and other more exotic variations. All types have their advantages and disadvantages. The design and popularity of specific types of baton have evolved over the years and are influenced by a variety of factors. These include inherent compromises in the dual (and competing) goals of control effectiveness and safety .... Discover the C D Truncheon popular books. Find the top 100 most popular C D Truncheon books.