L3 – 11.3 Baton


With the correct use of a baton, a security officer has the opportunity to prevent a dangerous and assaultive individual from possibly becoming a more serious threat to the security officer or others.

The use of a baton is in response to unsuccessful de-escalation of a situation where an aggressor’s resistance has escalated the security officer’s use of force response. The physical use of the baton is intended to stop the assaultive actions of an attacker. Once threatening resistance stops, the security officer must re- evaluate the use of force options based on the current level of resistance. Always use the reasonable force necessary to gain compliance.

I   Nomenclature

The expandable baton contains the following parts that can be seen in Figure 11.1:

  • Tip
  • End Shaft
  • Middle Shaft
  • Handle
  • O-ring
  • Retaining Clip
  • Cap

Figure 11.1: Parts of an Expandable Baton

II   Grip of Baton

The baton should be gripped slightly above the end and should be held securely between the two middle fingers and the thumb. This grip should be applied prior to the baton being drawn (Figure 11.2, left).

When the baton is drawn, it should be extended to its full length by forcefully swinging it at a downward forty-five-degree angle between the officer and the subject (Figure 11.2, right). As soon as it is fully expanded, it should be held in the interview or defensive stance.

Figure 11.2: Left: Gripping the baton in the holster. Right: Expanding the baton.

III   Reactionary Gap with Baton

Reactionary Gap is the distance between the security officer and the suspect:

  • When distance increases from the suspect, the security officer’s opportunity to identify and react to a threat also increases.
    • A minimum distance to allow viable communication and reaction is approximately 6 feet.
    • “Danger Zone” refers to an area within the reactionary gap. The security officer’s ability to react to the threat has been decreased.
    • Security officers should be aware of decreased ability to react to a sudden attack.

IV    Baton Stances

Interview Stance

The interview stance with a baton that is expanded to its full length is done by holding the baton behind the strong side leg and assuming a normal interview stance (Figure 11.3). This allows the baton to be immediately used if needed.

Figure 11.3: Interview Stance

V    Defensive Stance

The defensive stance with the baton is assumed when a threat is perceived that will require the baton to be used. It is assumed by deploying the baton and moving it to the crown of the shoulder or moving it from the interview stance to the crown of the shoulder (Figure 11.4). The center of gravity is lowered as the security officer takes a small step backward, increasing the reactionary gap. The butt of the baton should be pointed at the individual.

Figure 11.4: Defensive Stance