TRAIN LIKE A LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
CREATED BY A POLICE OFFICER
To Cross-Draw or not to Cross-Draw? That is the question.
Following the highly publicized incident in 2009 (BART at Fruitvale Station / Oscar Grant,) agencies across the country began adopting Cross-Draw, and this was an earnest effort to reduce the likelihood of Weapon Confusion. However, agencies are now revisiting the efficacy of Cross-Draw, with some agencies having already made the decision to simply keep the Taser out of the gun hand. The decision to transition to a non-dominant CEW policy is a personal one, and an important one for an agency. With that, we look back over the past 15 years of Cross-Draw and we ask the question, where are we now?
Before 2009: Approximately 25% of Weapon Confusion incidents were reported with the Taser in the Cross-Draw position, resulting in an average of 1 major Weapon Confusion incident per year.
After 2009: Over the past 15 years, the Cross-Draw now represents nearly all Weapon Confusion incidents reported (see table below) and although intended to reduce the likelihood, the data suggests it has unfortunately had no effect on reducing the number of incidents per year. In fact, Weapon Confusion incidents are up (10 incidents in the last 5 years.)
Note: The issue with Weapon Confusion may have less to do with "where" the Taser is holstered, and more to do with "the hand" that the Taser is unholstered with (dominant vs. non-dominant.)
Example: When the Taser is carried in the Cross-Draw, although the officer/deputy must reach across the body to access the Taser, the dominant hand (gun hand) is still capable of accessing the gun. As a result, a split decision (under stress) between the Taser and gun (2 exit options) must be made, increasing the likelihood of the gun being inadvertently selected.
Primary Guard eliminates having 2 exit options. Primary Guard restricts dominant hand Taser control, developing Taser control exclusively with the non-dominant hand (procedural memory,) Being that the non-dominant hand is incapable of unholstering the gun, reduces the likelihood of the gun being inadvertently selected (the Taser is the single exit option.)
(Cross-Draw / 2 exit options)
(Non-dominant hand draw / Single exit option)
*15 years of Cross-Draw (click for .PDF)
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