First look: The GLOVE use of force tool from Compliant Technologies
When the pads of the GLOVE come into direct contact with human skin, it generates pain compliance
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Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to test and evaluate a new use of force tool released in May 2019.
The GLOVE, which stands for Generated Low Output Voltage Emitter, is a conducted electrical weapon (CEW) from Compliant Technologies. It is designed to be used in conjunction with an officer’s defensive tactics training and other use of force tools to more effectively de-escalate use of force incidents and bring non-compliant subjects under control in a safe and timely manner.
How the GLOVE works
The GLOVE can be worn both before and during a law enforcement contact in correctional and field settings. When needed, the GLOVE is turned on by depressing the on/off button located on the upper surface of the GLOVE. When the tool is turned on, the on button illuminates in a manner that is highly visible to the officer.
There are conductive electrode pads on the palm side of the GLOVE. When two of these pads come into direct contact with human skin, it generates pain compliance and achieves neural peripheral interference. The desired result of the GLOVE is to cause a distraction to the peripheral nervous system, making it more difficult for the subject to perform coordinated muscle movement. This distraction then allows the officer to place the subject under control.
The primary target areas of the GLOVE are the extremities and joints. Unless it is an escalated situation to defend someone from serious bodily harm, applying the GLOVE to a subject’s head, face, throat, or groin area is not recommended.
Testing of the GLOVE
After completing a one-day master instructor course, I began conducting tests of the GLOVE with other law enforcement instructors.
The testing included multiple trips to the firing range to determine if the GLOVE can be worn in the on or off position when transitioning and using other tools such as a handgun, TASER, OC spray and baton.
I also conducted several tests in the mat room to determine both the GLOVE’s durability and if the GLOVE could be incorporated into various defensive tactics scenarios and handcuffing situations.
In addition to these tests, I have instructed user courses and brought the GLOVE to several defensive tactics training events throughout the Midwest over the past several months. During this time, I have applied the GLOVE to approximately 60 individuals.
During my review and analysis of the GLOVE, I identified several pros and cons. These are initial assessments due to the short period of the time the GLOVE has been available and with the knowledge that pros and cons have a certain level of subjectivity based on the totality of the circumstances of individual incidents.
Pros of the GLOVE
- The GLOVE provides pain compliance and a distraction to the peripheral nervous system. There is a variance in its effect between individuals, with some individuals seemingly only mildly affected; however, the substantial majority of individuals were affected during the stimulation phase.
- The GLOVE allows for an easy transition to any other tool.
- Training and operating costs of the GLOVE are low.
- The GLOVE can be used and operated as a pair, or a single GLOVE can be used independently (two officers can each have a GLOVE).
- Weapon retention is easily achievable with the GLOVE, as it would be more difficult for someone to take the GLOVE than another tool.
- There were no signature marks, redness, or any other signs of physical injury to any of the subjects.
- The GLOVE has undergone medical studies to check for safety and efficacy, the results of which have been published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
- With the GLOVE, only the area contacted is affected, and therefore it is unlikely that a backing or secondary officer would be adversely affected by the GLOVE.
- The GLOVE has an unassuming appearance.
- An officer who used the GLOVE in an actual combative situation said that the “GLOVE got the subject to comply quicker than if I did not have it available to me.”
CONS of the GLOVE
- The GLOVE must be applied in close proximity to the subject.
- The GLOVE is a force multiplier; however, officers still require good defensive tactics skills. It would be a mistake for officers to become over-reliant on the GLOVE.
- When water is part of the equation, there is a concern when using CEWs.
- Because the GLOVE is worn by the officer, there is a chance of inadvertent exposure to the subject if the officer does not realize the GLOVE is in on mode.
- Because direct skin contact is required, the GLOVE would not be ideal in situations where the subject is wearing heavy clothing and long sleeves.
The GLOVE was recently named an Innovative Product of the Year for 2019 at the Global Security Exchange (GSX) Conference. Information regarding training, pricing and GLOVE specifications is available at www.complianttechnologies.net.