Hospitals are a real pain in the
There will come a time, many times in fact, when
you'll be responsible for a prisoner within a hospital
setting.  You'll soon learn that doctors hate
handcuffs.  It doesn't matter what treatment the
prisoner requires. Whether it's a lacerated lip, or an
ingrown toe nail, you'll probably be asked to remove
the handcuffs.  If you question the need to remove
the handcuffs relative to the treatment, the fall back
reason is usually difficulty in taking the prisoner's
blood pressure reading.

The very first thing you have to consider is this:  
You are the only person present who is totally
responsible for that prisoner's actions once those
handcuffs are removed.  If he punches out the
doctor; overpowers you; gets control of your gun;
shoots people; escapes, or engages in lesser
destructive behavior, the causative factor will go
right back to
your decision to remove the
handcuffs.  No, not the doctor's decision...your
decision.  If you think for an instant that anyone
else will accept any level of responsibility for your
prisoner's potential reign of terror, you're dreaming.
I was out of the police academy a mere two weeks
when I was assigned to guard a prisoner who was
recovering from surgery for a gunshot wound.  He'd
been shot during a gun battle with a police officer in
which the police officer was also wounded.  The
prisoner had his left hand cuffed to the bed railing.  
His first communication with me was his demand
that I release the cuffs, so he could go to the
bathroom.  Yea... right.  I called the nurse, and I
requested she provide Mr. Personality with a
portable urinal.  To my surprise, the nurse became
indignant.  She informed me that the prisoner was
physically able to go to the bathroom, so I should
remove his handcuffs.  When I refused, the nurse
stormed from the room.

Moments later, a doctor entered the room.  I quickly
realized this guy didn't have his heart in this
exchange.  As the nurse stood behind him, arms
folded, and starring right through me, the doctor
ask me to remove the handcuffs.  I may have been
inexperienced, but I wasn't stupid.  I refused.  The
poor guy kept going, so I gave him an out.  I
offered to have my sergeant respond.  If my
sergeant gave the okay, I'd remove the cuffs. The
doctor declined the offer, and he directed the nurse
to use the portable urinal.  I actually felt bad for the
prisoner... just a little.  The way she shoved that
bed pan beneath him had to hurt more than the
"There will come a time, many times in fact,
when you'll be responsible for a prisoner
within a hospital setting." ~ Barry M. Baker
A lot of people who contemplate a police career
don't associate police officers with guarding
prisoners.  You may think that once a suspect is
arrested, that suspect becomes the responsibility of
corrections officers.  In most jurisdictions, the
process for transferring a prisoner to corrections is
my no means an immediate thing.

Since the health and well being of persons arrested
is of such great concern -- primarily because of the
potential litigious implications -- a prisoner who
requests, or demands, a trip to the hospital will
almost always be granted that request or demand.

Guess who's going to be responsible for guarding
that prisoner during his or her emergency room
visit?  Oh...and don't expect to be put at the head
of the line.  With all the concern these days about
workplace hazards, hospitals haven't yet put
potentially dangerous criminals on their lists of
Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker