Defensive tactics training: How to get a suspect from his back to his stomach

A suspect landing on his back puts most officers in an awkward position for controlling that suspect


Having been an active street cop for the entire 33 years of my police career, as well as an active police trainer for 43 years, in this year-long series I plan to share some of the defensive tactics techniques that helped me prevail on the street. I will present a variety of defensive tactics in a format that allows you to follow the instructions and practice the technique. Remember practice makes prepared.

When officers meet an assaultive suspect, or even a suspect, who is stubbornly physically resistive, the dynamics of the struggle often lead to a moment when the suspect is on his back. Since handcuffing the suspect is often the goal of the controlling officer, the suspect landing on his back puts most officers in an awkward position for controlling that suspect. To make things even worse, when you are dealing with a trained suspect, his landing on his back does not put him out of the fight.

There is one technique I used many times on the street to roll a suspect from his back to his stomach. For lack of a better name, I shall call it the ”on your stomach please” technique.

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