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Baton uses handcuff tech to detain violent suspects
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Ripon police officer Thailand Chahouati takes part in the demonstration of a new police baton – the Apprehender – that changes into a handcuff to detain a violent suspect in the field. Inventor Richard Barwick of Anaheim demonstrated the new state of the art tool Monday at an in-service at the Ripon Police Department. - photo by GLENN KAHL
RIPON — It’s a police baton that doubles as a handcuff – with plenty of leverage.

That’s the latest advance in crime fighting technology to be tested by the Ripon Police Department’s officers.  Rich Barwick, founder/inventor of RMB Industries, Inc. led an in-service for Ripon officers Monday in just how to use the “Apprehender” police baton against resisting and violent suspects.

Nearly a dozen officers gathered in their training center to experience first-hand a new police baton that quickly put them to the ground without the chance of breaking a wrist.  The baton also proved effective when placed on a suspect’s ankle as officers also learned in the in-service.  

Placing the baton on an ankle and standing on its handle also made the suspect immobile – unable to fight with officers.

Barwick brought enough of the batons to give to each member of the department to add to their self defense arsenal.  He demonstrated how fast an officer can place the “Club” like tool’s yoke around a wrist and click a secreted handcuff into action.  Then the length of the baton allows leverage to put a large man immediately to the ground and defenseless.

The baton can also be used on a car’s steering wheel to keep it from driving away from the scene of a crime.

Lt. Ed Ormonde said that initially 10 officers are going to be testing the baton in the field and bringing back their evaluations.  He said the department is going to be adding the baton to his policy manual in the near future.

“Other agencies may be more apt to use it if we have creative feedback,” he said.

Sgt. Teri Jensen said she sees the baton as something that will enhance officers’ ability to arrest suspects who forcibly resist with violence.

“This is a safe and effective way to immobilize them without affecting safety by having a variety of options available to quickly and safely protect the citizens of Ripon,” she added.

The sergeant credited Chief Richard Bull’s willingness to try new technology – keeping Ripon police on the cutting edge.  “We continually try new technologies and new equipment to evaluate their effectiveness in law enforcement,” she said.

Barwick said he has put promotional batons also in New Jersey, Utah, Florida and Canada.  Ripon is the only department in the Central Valley to be testing the “Apprehender” in day-to-day field use.

It weighs slightly over three pounds.  A newer composite design now being produced weighs less than a pound, he added.  In their future design, the baton will include a flash light in its yoke.

The inventor said the lighter version developed out of a request by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for a light weight version of the baton for their officers to carry on their service belts.  The “Apprehender” now sells for $395.
Described as the “ultimate law enforcement device” it can be viewed in detail on the firm’s website at www.APPREHENDERULED.COM .

Its ergonomic design allows even the smallest police officer to control the largest suspect easily and safely.  The touch less control feature allows officers to maintain distance from the suspect, but allows them to be able to apprehend the suspect without touching them.

A quick release incorporated in the handle provides the option to rapidly move from one suspect to another in a gang or riot situation.

Other advances in Ripon’s Police Department included the digital camera systems installed at main intersections and throughout the school system feeding into the monitoring dispatch center.

And, the recently added “Powered Parachute” has placed an eye in the sky that is available to search for anyone lost along the Stanislaus River in addition to missing children throughout the community.