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Limiting liability and improving subject safety with double locking cuffs

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Law Enforcement implications of a keyless handcuff application process

As modern law enforcement professionals respond to public outcry for more protection, there is renewed development in restraint technology that promotes control and limits risk of injury.

Double locking handcuffs are commonplace in modern law enforcement, but notable advancements are still being made to improve operator effectiveness and detainee safety. These ‘small’ advancements yield meaningful results in improving public and Police user safety. Today we’re going to take a look at why this new technology matters.

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When a Police user applies cuffs to someone who is aggressively resisting, if the double lock is not engaged the cuffs can ratchet tighter and tighter throughout the struggle. Studies have shown that this scenario can create potential damage to the radial nerve, resulting in an injury called Handcuff Neuropathy. ‘Neuropathy’ is damage or dysfunction to one or more nerves that typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain in the affected area (1). ‘Handcuff’ Neuropathy is a compressive neuropathy caused by the tight application of handcuffs, wherein the superficial radial nerve and in some cases the median nerve can suffer long term damage due to overtightening after handcuff application (2). This neuropathy has been documented by many medical journals and there have been several successful lawsuits against United States police departments from subjects who suffered nerve damage while in handcuffs (3). Because the application of cuffing and applying the double lock can be done more efficiently with a push-button system, the Police user is in a better position to secure the double lock quickly, and not have to prolong the engagement while trying to fit the key into the cuff.

“Police users no longer have to use one hand to extract a cuff key from their duty belt, which takes valuable time and reduces physical control over the subject.”


When an individual is under stress, their ability to perform fine motor functions is greatly diminished. In the circumstance of a Police user trying to apply cuffs and engage the double lock on a resisting subject, the difference between having to perform a gross motor function (pushing a button) versus a fine motor function (fitting a small key into a lock) can mean the difference between success and failure in quickly and safely concluding an altercation.

When applying cuffs that have a push button double lock, the entire cuffing process is conducted without a key ever being present. Police users no longer have to use one hand to extract a cuff key from their duty belt, which takes valuable time and reduces physical control over the subject. This issue is especially relevant for smaller or older police professionals. The administration of double lock through a push button system allows for a quicker application and the enables the Police user to maintain a stronger body position while ensuring the double lock is engaged properly. The complete absence of a key from the environment makes the restraint process all that much safer.



  • With easier application, push button double locking cuffs can reduce the chance for injury to the subject.
  • Reducing injuries also reduces department liability.

  • Stress diminishes fine motor ability. The push button function employs gross motor skills versus the fine motor skills required to fit a small key into the cuffs.
  • Push button cuffs allow the arresting party to keep both hands on the subject. No more removing one hand reaching into your duty belt for a key. Advantageous for smaller or older Police users.
  • The complete absence of a key from the environment makes the restraint process safer.

When we profile advancements in equipment, it’s important that we play out how these changes can apply practically in the field. Often times iterative advancements to tried and tested equipment is the best, safest approach to modernization- and advancements like push-button (Keyless Double Locking) double locking systems are an example of this.

If you would like to learn more about ASP’s push button (Keyless Double Locking) double locking handcuff options, contact us today at or toll free 1-855-729-0446