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5 Tragic Reasons Every Police Department Should Want 21st Century Cuffs

For the sake of both subjects and police officers, the need for safer tools has never been greater

Handcuffs are a vital peacekeeping tool … but they’ve barely changed in more than 100 years. The “modern” handcuff was born in 1912, when George A Carney patented the cuff that would be known as the “Peerless Swingthrough” handcuff upon its release in 1914.

Amazingly, this was the last major advancement in handcuff design.

In more than 100 years since, the U.S. has helped win two world wars, walked on the moon, and witnessed the rise of personal computers, cell phones, and the internet. Yet, today’s handcuffs retain many of the same limitations their ancestors displayed back in 1914.

What’s more: These limitations can be dangerous—even deadly.

The need for a change

Police work can be both hazardous and unpredictable. Every encounter is different, and  situations can escalate without warning. When that happens, safe solutions can be difficult to achieve using existing equipment and operational procedures. 

Here are just five tragic examples of that difficulty:

  1. July 17, 2014: Eric Garner died after being subdued by an officer using a prohibited choke hold. The officer’s employment was terminated and the City of New York paid $5.9 million in damages.[01]
  2. July 06, 2011: Derek Williams suffocated to death, after being restrained face-down by police for several minutes. The resulting court cases and settlement cost an estimated $23 million.[02]
  3. May 24, 2020: George Floyd died while being restrained by police officer Derek Chauvin. In the aftermath, Floyd’s family was awarded $27 million and officer Chauvin was convicted of murder.[03]
  4. March 03, 2020: Manuel Ellis died after being tased and pinned down for several minutes by multiple police officers. Two officers would later be charged with murder and a third with manslaughter. Damages have yet to be awarded.
  5. Every year: More than 14000 law enforcement personnel in the U.S. are injured by assaults that take place in the line of duty. Most survive and recover. Some do not. [05]

We could continue, but the point is clear: Something has to change. Procedural reforms are part of the solution. But we can do more.

How many of these scenarios could have been made shorter and less risky—if not prevented entirely—if officers had been equipped with a safer, speedier, more adaptable method of restraint?

That’s where 21st Century Cuffs come in.


21st Century Cuffs are a safer, more adaptable handcuff design

 21st Century Cuffs are connected by an adjustable-length steel cable instead of a few short inches of chain. You can cuff both of a subject’s hands, even if they’re 18 inches apart, and then adjust the cable’s length on the fly to suit your needs.

This flexibility minimizes the risk of injury in several ways, including shortening the time it takes to bring a subject under control and enabling less risky subdual techniques.

21st Century Cuffs can help keep police officers out of prison

Serving and protecting the public is challenging enough, but today’s police often come under fire in the courtroom as well—particularly if a subject suffers even minor harm or injury. What’s more, those lawsuits can lead to suspension, termination, or even prison time for the officers involved.

Thankfully, 21st Century Cuffs are far safer than traditional handcuffs. So much safer, in fact, that it may be just a matter of time before the courts take notice.

As news about the safety-enhancing impact of 21st Century Cuffs spreads, it’s not a stretch to imagine a day when lawyers will accuse police of negligence for using risky and outdated traditional handcuffs instead of the safer 21st Century Cuffs — and when judges will hold those police legally liable as a result.

This isn’t meant to come off as a scare tactic, and we’d never try to tell law enforcement professionals how to do their jobs. We respect them too much for that. But we know our product, we believe in the benefits it provides, and we know lawsuits happen. We’d hate to see good men and women removed from duty, even sent to prison, by situations that 21st Century Cuffs could have helped prevent.

Learn more and see 21st Century Cuffs in action.  Moreover, if a situation does take a turn for the worse, 21st Century Cuffs can help make clear the officer did all he or she could to avoid it. 

Questions? We’ve got answers. Let’s talk.