Recently there has been talk in the forums about the possible reclassification of Taser so that ordinary cops can carry them. Currently only authorised firearms officers can be armed with taser but popular opinion would have you believe that everyone wants it.
When I’m performing my ‘boring old fart’ routine I like to remind my younger colleagues – those who weren’t even born when I started the job – that they should be lucky they’ve got batons, cuffs, spray & protective vests.
Back in the day the only things I had to protect myself was a razor-like tongue & a twelve inch piece of ornamental rosewood in the form of a truncheon.
We didn’t even have handcuffs. Or rather we did but not individual issue; there was a set in the glovebox but if we were out on foot we had to book out a set of cuffs at the start of the shift and hand them back in at the end.
One of the lads on the shift saw them on sale at the local market so he purchased 10 sets for three quid a set & our shift was the first shift in the division with personal handcuffs.
I used my truncheon only once in all the years I carried it. It was my first year of service. I picked up a stolen vehicle whilst on patrol & it failed to stop. We had a shortish pursuit & the driver ended up decamping into a local housing estate. I gave chase though I didn’t have a clue where I was.
The guy who nicked the car was a tall skinhead. I’m over six feet tall and he was taller than me & built like a brick outhouse. As I chased on foot, having abandoned my patrol car in the middle of the road, I gave no thought as to exactly what I was going to do when I caught him.
Catch him I did & he wasn’t happy about it. We ended up rolling around on the ground.
At one stage I thought it might be a good idea if I take out my truncheon & utilise a bit of self defence. Mistake. It just made him angrier
A local resident put her head out the window to complain about the noise & I managed to persuade her that I was an officer of the law in need of some urgent help & could she ring the local nick.
One of the best sights I ever saw was my mate appearing round the corner running full tilt to my rescue. After an ‘old style’ arrest, I finally got my man.
The only time I ever used a truncheon after that was to smash windows. Officers today, with all the equipment & health & safety measures don’t know they’re born.