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The legend of the blue handcuffs: "YOU GAVE ME MORE THAN HANDCUFFS" - A lesson for trainers

  1. This is a long piece. I'll post a few parts.

    You may train hundreds or thousands of officers in your career – strive to leave each student with some gem that will make you a positive example

    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward

    I met John when we both worked in the Intelligence Bureau of a large state police agency. His name isn’t really John, but his covert status requires the “John Doe” moniker. He was an intelligence analyst in training and I was one of the “old” guys who came there with years of police experience. I helped him understand the street significance of the data he was analyzing and he helped the old dog learn a few new tricks about computers.

    The boy had a talent for tickling the database searches just right to find things others missed. John had a knack for finding people who didn’t want to be found...

    "I’LL TRADE YOU FOR THAT NEW, SHINY PAIR OF NICKEL-PLATED CUFFS YOU’VE GOT"
    I had been a young cop starting out as a reserve officer. One night I commented about another officer’s blued handcuffs; “I’ve seen ‘em in catalogs, but I’ve never seen anyone carrying any.” The cop pulled the blue cuffs out of his belt case and handed them to me. As I clicked the center loop through it was obvious they’d seen much use. The cop told me, “I’ve had ‘em for several years – got ‘em from a friend on the sheriff’s department and he said a trooper bought ‘em new quite a while ago.”...

    "USE ‘EM ON SOME GUY YOU ARREST AS AN FBI AGENT"
    The blue handcuffs stayed with me throughout my career. They did require some oil, and occasionally even a touch up with steel wool and cold blue on a little spot of rust, but I liked the idea that the old cuffs had some tradition to them. I bet they could have told some great squad room stories...

    I said I was proud to think the old cuffs had been used on a potential terrorist. John trumped that card. “I’ve used ‘em on real terrorists, too,” he added. John had served a rotation as an interrogator at Gitmo and said he made sure the blue cuffs had been used to and from the interrogation room. “I go back to Quantico and teach defensive tactics,” John continued, “and I always demonstrate with the blue cuffs. Every time I pull them out I tell the students the story of where these handcuffs have been. I tell ‘em a REAL cop gave me these cuffs.”​

    Please read the entire article...You FTOs will get it.