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What are police batons and what are the law surrounding them


A police baton is a law enforcement aid that resembles a long stick. It is a device that is a staple safety and control weapon used by law enforcement personnel to aid in self-defense and to subdue an offender. It is used to strike, jab, block, bludgeon and assist in the application of armlocks.
Batons are available in different varieties, but the most commons ones are the expandable baton, the fixed length baton and the side handle baton. They are made either of metal, wood or plastic.

The Police baton, (also known as billy club, truncheon, blackjack,billystick, cosh and sap ) can be dated as far back as the Victorian time in their use as a defensive and control weapon, where the London police carried foot-long truncheons .
From that point onwards, they evolved from simple 2 inch truncheons to the several varieties available today. The average baton is about 2 feet long and some retract when not in use (expandable baton).

Types and Use of batons:
The baton is primarily used as an offensive as well as a defensive weapon. They are generally restricted to sworn law enforcement personnel in many countries and in some states in the United States.Few states specifically use the word 'baton' or 'expandable baton' in the law writing. The batons are usually referred to by the other names such as truncheon, billy club, etc. This is because a lot lot of these laws have been on the books for a very long time and have not been updated since then. The outdated wording therefore reflects this.Not to mention there are devices that can easily be turned into impromptu batons that are perfectly fine to possess by the average civilian. Click here to find which states restrict or allow the carry of batons.

One of common uses of a baton is to forcefully jab it into the stomach of a defiant suspect. The idea is to knock the wind out of him/her. They are also used to strike other parts of the body such as the head, arms or legs of a suspect who may be trying to escape.They are also used as an aid in breaking windows in homes or cars to help rescue a person or animal and removing them out of danger.

There are 3 main types of batons. Each has its use, advantages and advantages.

Straight baton: These batons are the most direct descendants of the original truncheon. They are straight with a grip handle. They are primarily made of wood, although there are varieties made of aluminum, acrylic, and dense plastics and rubber. They range in size from about a foot long upto 36 inches .
The straight baton has the best kinetic energy for striking and 'knocking the wind 'out of an offender. However, due to the fact that it is not collapsible, it is hard to carry and the large size makes an officer look intimidating.
Expandable baton: The expandable baton is a practical improvement over the straight baton. It is easier to carry and looks less intimidating when carried by an officer. However it requires an extra step in training. Officers need to be able to quickly and effectively flick it open and use it in time of need. This is now the most commonly used and carried baton type.
Side handle baton: As the name alludes, these are batons with a short side handle at a right angle to the baton shaft. The side handle is located about six inches from the top end. This type of baton is made in both a fixed and a collapsible models.
It is primarily used as a defensive device. It was originally modeled after the 'tonfa' (handled club) a Japanese Okinawan Kobudo weapon .The term Okinawan Kobudo is a Japanese term that can be translated as "old martial way of Okinawa". It refers to a weapons system of Okinawa martial arts.
The side handle baton is therefore used with similar techniques to the Tonfas. The best example of a side handle baton are the Monadnock PR-24 batons.



References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawan_kobud%C5%8D
http://www.ehow.com/way_5650375_use-police-baton.html

Police batons - History, use and legality