Police officers often find weapons on suspects during pat-downs and post-arrest searches. Sometimes the weapons are firearms, and other times the weapons are knives, ice picks, brass knuckles, and the like. These are generally no problem to spot and identify, right?
Not always. There are many criminals walking around with weapons that are disguised as mundane, common items. Not recognizing these items as a weapon can cost you dearly should the criminal offer resistance.
The California Department of Justice, through the Criminal Intelligence Bureau of the Division of Law Enforcement, regularly publishes a booklet for police officers called “Disguised Weapons.” The book contains photographs and written descriptions of a wide range of weapons that are made to appear to be something else.
Many of the items featured in “Disguised Weapons” are commercially made, and are legal to own in many jurisdictions. However, what may be a legitimate self defense tool in the hands of an honest citizen, including an off-duty cop, can be very dangerous in the hands of a criminal.
Weapons come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. These stun guns are disguised as cellular phones. Recently, one of these stun guns was used on two Georgia police officers who were attempting to arrest a fraud suspect.
Generally, these types of stun guns are not nearly as incapacitating as compared to the TASER M/X-26. However, these devices remain dangerous when used against you by a combative subject.
A quick Google search turned up a wide variety of these being sold under names like Pretender Cell Phone Stun Gun and Titan Multi-Functional Cell Phone Stun Gun. Prices start at about $60 and go up. These are perfectly legal in most US jurisdictions, and are probably used by far more honest citizens than criminals. However, mere possession may be a crime in your area, and regardless, no law ever stopped a criminal from attacking a police officer.
Keep an eye out for these things when dealing with suspects. All of the photos below are of actual stun guns being sold today.
This stun gun is the StreetWise Small Fry 1,000,000-volt Mini Stun Gun. While not disguised to appear to be something it isn’t, the Small Fry is exceptionally small, fitting into the palm of your hand. In fact, it is so small, it can fit into a pack of cigarettes. Keep that in mind, the next time you are conducting a field interview and your subject wants to smoke.
The Small Fry uses a rechargeable, flat battery, which allows it to dump some of the bulk normally seen in stun guns due to the use of a 9-volt battery. StreetWise also has stun guns that use the CR-123 3-volt batteries that many of us have in our SureFire lights.