Stick Fighting……….

Back in the eighties, a select group of Highway Patrolmen was chosen for training to instruct the rest of the Patrol in the proper use of a then new T-handle police baton, the Monadnock PR-24.  I was in this group and can assure the reader that we were not selected on the basis of mental acuity!  I thought I would share some of our experiences in this particularly brutal regimen, where we laughed often to avoid the remarkably unnerving tendency to cry because the training…….was painful.

To the uninitiated, the PR-24 is a 24″, side handle police baton constructed of polycarbonate.  We became familiar with the nomenclature; the Yawara knob on the short portion, the long extended portion, the long extended end…..stuff that was pretty obvious.  Our instructors, hand selected sadists, employed by Monadnock who manufactures this device,  had very little humor about them.  The training was exactly one week, 8 hours a day and resulted in us being “qualified” to teach the endlesss number of maneuvers such as the “Georgia State Police Takedown” and a series of other descriptively named jabs, takedowns and whips.  The aforementioned takedown involved a series of deft maneuvers and was designed to force a bad guy into compliance……forget one of the seemingly endless steps in this maneuver and viola’….the bad guy could take your magic wand away from you and beat you senseless with it.  We quickly learned that technique number one is to avoid having the baton change hands in the confrontation. This untimely exchange of control is why we wore pistols.img_0097

I was paired with one of the finest officers that I ever had the pleasure to be associated with, a bear of a man, gentle in disposition, incredibly strong with a great sense of humor.  Randy Rice and I were friends and as friends do, we were careful to take the maneuvers close to the pain tolerance level without exceeding it.  In spite of our careful approach to this week from hell, I managed to break a tooth and many of my classmates suffered contusions, sprains and strains. A particularly interesting compliance technique involved bending joints into positions not built into the design specs by God.  In an effort to blend humor into the training, I called over one of the sadists teaching the class and indicated this maneuver would not work on a big guy like Randy.  The instructor accepted the challenge and Randy glared at me with contempt normally reserved for Satan.  The instructor then promptly bent the big man into a nasty contorted posture…thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the technique.  As I indicated earlier, we were not necessarily selected because we the best and the brightest, and I paid the price for my humor……

The PR-24 was around for awhile and never really became popular.  Most officers did not take the time to slip the baton into the belt holder, and it rested comfortably under the passenger headrest in our cruisers.  We were taught to not strike certain body parts; the skull, the sternum, the spine or the groin.  Please understand that when the fight is on, careful consideration as to where you hit someone quickly evaporates and they are subject to a non clinical strike at the closest offending part of their combative bodies.  The PR-24 will leave a nasty 10 stitcher on the gourd of a bad guy…….I have reviewed the physical force reports.

I still have my baton….and smile when fondly remembering my week with Randy and the two demons from hell, disguised as instructors.  I will never forget them.  Should I ever be in a situation requiring the police response of one of these two officers, and I see them sporting a PR-24……I intend to drop and roll. I know there is lightning in those things………

3 thoughts on “Stick Fighting……….

  1. Great article. If we had leadership at The White House and in some liberal cities; we might just see the PR-24 being effectively used !!

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. The PR-24, a 24-inch high impact police therapeutic public relations tool. Both, Roy Bergman and I were against the adoption of this POS…er…defensive compliance weapon, but finer heads prevailed in GHQ. The idea behind adopting the PR-24 over the straight baton was that Troopers would be less likely to strike a malcontent on the head. Roy’s articulated theory was, “The reason that cops hit people in the head with their batons, flashlights, night sticks etc. is that is where the mouth is and where all the irritation is coming from.” The PR-24 was adopted despite the cost to furnish and train and retrain each and every Trooper on the Patrol at the time. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the PR-24 quickly fell out of disfavor with our officers and were subjugated, as you mentioned, being stored under the passenger headrest or trunk of the Patrol car until they were eventually replaced by the Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) expandable batons that are still in use today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Paul! As we have come to realize, the best policy emanates from the ground up, not the top down! Honestly, the PR-24 was DOA, with most of us agreeing out of instructor training, that it was going to be a very tough sell.

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