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Stop Sticks.

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by OLY-M4gery, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    I keep seeing comments about how awful "stop sticks" are.

    I am a stop stick ace. I have five succesful deployments with them.

    I have also had multiple pursuits as a primary officer, that were ended when other officers were able to spike the suspect vehicle.

    The officer I share a car with, he works days, I work 7p-3a, was hit by a suspect at appx 85 mph while attempting to deploy stop sticks. He has reurned to duty since that incident.

    More officers die in car crashes, than while attempting to deploy stop sticks, does that make cars for LE a bad idea?

    More officers get killed while engaging BG's, than when attempting to deploy stop sticks, does that make firearms a bad idea?

    After all, if police didn't drive they would be far less likely to get in car crashes. If police didn't carry firearms, they would be less likely to confront armed criminals, and less likely to get in a gun fight.

    Stop sticks, just like a lot of other tools, have to be used prudently.

    Your car is not "cover" when deploying stop sticks. Bridge columns, jersey barriers, guardrails, big old trees, and the like are. Stop sticks should only be deployed from such cover, and only when there is enough time to do so safely, and alert the officers involved in the chase that stop sticks are out.
  2. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    They scare the crap out of me honestly. I have never deployed them personally, but on two occasions have been on standby for deployment in pursuits. So far I have never been johnny on the spot but I am terrified of them, there is just too many ways things can go bad while deploying sticks.

    No pursuit, not even a bank robbery is worth the life of an officer.

  3. kc8ykd


    Oct 6, 2005
    Be careful out there, an Officer near me was killed while trying to deploy stop sticks today.

    the two 'suspects' had robbed a bank and fired at officers during the chase. After killing Officer Slot, their vehicle crashed and they got out firing and were killed during the ensuing exchange with officers who were following. The county prosecutor said it appeared the suspects intentionally hit Officer Slot.

  4. ArmaGlock

    ArmaGlock Glock Armorer

    Dec 28, 2005
    I woudn't say they are awful, but they are super friggin dangerous to deploy as others have said. I've seen officers do some veryyy unsafe deployments with them and quite a few officers get sticked also.

    It's like anything else I guess, know the risk and know when to back off and not try to force an unsafe deployment and get yourself killed.

    I prefer the P.I.T. maneuver.
  5. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    PIT is off limits in my kinder/gentler jurisdiction.
  6. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    That is part of the problem.

    Here, if the pursuing officers are notified that spikes are out, and run over them, they are at fault.

    There is NO REASON to be 4' off the suspect's bumper when they are about to go over spikes. Get close to where they will be deployed, hammer the brakes. Let the suspect run over the spikes, let the deploying officer clear the road, then "Get on it Mel!!".

    If the suspect hits those spikes, they will be slowing down. If not, you can catch back up.
  7. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    This is a huge pet peeve of mine. We don't use stop sticks and only a few towns around here use them. Regardless, riding the offender's bumper is a horrible idea. Makes them run harder and faster and you have a lot less time to react and see around them.
  8. That's the crux of the issue. Many times they aren't used prudently and officers are getting killed needlessly. I can imagine that find suitable cover to deploy sticks from is more difficult that one might initially think. Putting yourself down range of a 1-ton missle just seems like a bad idea to me in general, however.
  9. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    With proper training and discretion in deployment, there is nothing wrong for them. Just like the Taser, just like OC, just like PIT, just like damned near everything in this job, it's not using them that is really dangerous, it's using them wrong.


    Sep 29, 2005
    Well they are great in theory but We'd have to be allowed to chase something to use them....

    Actually, we have stop sticks but they have been taken out of most of the cars and get left in the armory. We're pretty much always allowed to PIT well before we'd be able to deploy stop sticks.
  11. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    The problem I see with stop sticks are that departments become 'wedded' to any new device or technique for all situations and are unwilling to consider anything else because of perception, cost, or intransigence.

    We don't carry one weapon [OC, baton, firearm, Taser] to deal with every situation and threat and we should not be restricted to only stop sticks, PIT, or other methods/technologies for use on all vehicles, drivers, roads, traffic conditions, etc.

    Many police administrators look for cheap, exigent, and perceived low risk - not for real world solutions.
  12. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    We have stop sticks and are NOT allowed to PIT. I've been ready to deploy them once, but alas, they turned down another street at the last minute and it didn't happen.

    I also don't like it when people are too close to the offender. I had a chase where I was barely keeping him in sight, but he kept losing the back end and I'd catch up and maintain a good distance. In the end we got him because he was overdriving the vehicle. But had I been on his bumper, I'd have wrecked into him on at least 2 occasions.
  13. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
    I prefer the PIT almost every time. That said, they certainly have their place.
  14. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    If I was ever trained to PIT, and authorized to do it, I would.

    But since PIT seems to be frowned on in this area, I ain't holding my breath.
  15. packsaddle


    Jan 15, 2009
    around here we just jump on the suspect's car, reach through the driver's window, and turn off the keys.
  16. beatcop


    Aug 13, 2003
    New England
    I know a couple guys who took the "door ride" when they reached for the keys.

    Poor technique, or no technique is a problem. I chased a guy who (prior to me getting into it) who drove around a couple sticks. Prob was the cops just threw them out like a dead fish....did not employ by throwing across and pulling into path of travel.
  17. OXCOPS


    Dec 31, 2000
    I tend to be quite fond of the old school Mississippi Highway Patrol method of stopping a pursuit. Instead of stop sticks, troopers would pull of the roadway ahead of the chase.....then unload a shotgun into the tires and/or windshield of the suspect vehicle.
  18. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    We have a restrictive policy on chases, BUT if you are working at the right time depending on who your boss is he will let you go for a while. I've had bosses let me chase 20+ mins for dope deals and had other bosses call off guys even though their car got rammed by the bad guy.

    I would be all about the PIT if they would let us use it....Do you guys just charge/bill the offender then for the damage to the squads?
  19. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Mar 29, 2005
    I have deployed a Stinger Spike System once, two in the morning. I used a concrete median barrier as cover. The car hit at 100MPH.

    I still have one of the tires with the spikes inside. Stinger sent me a pin that says, "I Spiked a Perp", after forwarding them the use of force report.



    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  20. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
    It took a while for us to get it around here.

    We had a huge bank robbery shootout in the middle of a busy intersection with over 100 rounds fired.

    That was the event that made it happen.