Espantoon

Balt. City Police Nightstick-1a
Webster's Third Edition: "An Espantoon In Baltimore, a policeman's stick"
We should Start out by saying we collect Nightsticks, Espantoons, Batons Etc.
If you have one for sale, or donation let us know.
We particularly like Baltimore Sticks, but collect them all. We hope to start a Baltimore Police Museum and would like to have as many we can to show what police have used for years to protect themselves and the public. It will be a rolling museum at first, and they will be used to show the differences over the years, as well to show how they wear, do to their having been carried everywhere with an officer over his or her carreer.


In Other Cities It’s Just A Policeman’s Club

by Reynold Stantley

Once upon a midnight hot
While I pondered “on the spot”

Over books with knowledge crammed
Feeling like a person damned

While I peered all board in June
seeking the meaning of Espantoon

Came a Raven black and geaven
In his eyes dull gloom and engraven

Then he opened wide his beak
Gave a most unearthly squeak

Quotas the Raven “take a hop;
“Espantoon? Go ask a cop”

They of a lost investigator

You see it all happen this way, the man who sits in the editorial sanctum and likes speed and brevity along with accuracy, and honesty handed me a newspaper clipping. - He told me to read it. I did. It Related the sad land tale of a British Marine from the H. M. S. Exeter, who had an altercation with two policeman at Eutaw and Franklin Streets, He lost, of course!

One thing struck me right between the eyes. It was the report of one of the policeman, a sergeant, which stated; “I struck him across his face with my Espantoon.”


So That’s What it’s All About!

Straightaway I asked the host - “What’s an Espantoon?”

He replied;

“That’s what I want you to dig up. It’s a policeman’s club, and the term is particular to Baltimore. What I want you to do is to find out the derivation of Espantoon, and while you’re at it you might trace the Swagger Stick. It was carried by the British sailor, you know.” (Turns out the sailor struck the Officer and Sergeant with that Swagger Stick)

I saluted, did an about-face and left his office gaily. Believing I had a cinch job.

All I have to say now is that if you ever want to play a cruel joke on some family or friendly enemy, get them to look up Espantoon. If he is of a sensitive nature he will probably become a raving maniac.

O.K. next we’re off to the Pratt Library, The Funk & Wagnall dictionaries. It states that the word is one peculiar to Baltimore, and that it means “a policeman’s Billy.” Also, that it comes from the Spanish, espanto, meaning “to threaten.”

Very well, why did the Baltimore police ever adopt the word Espantoon for what is known elsewhere as a policeman’s club, or nightstick?

Little Sir Echo answered; “Why?”


Gets Nowhere with Quest

None of the efficient research workers at the library could find out. Then I went outside and ask a policeman. He looked at me sympathetically and asked; “are you feeling all right buddy? We’ve had some hot weather, you know, and our hospitals are fine.”

That didn’t get me anywhere, so I sought out the help of one, Prof. Jacob H. HoHander of Johns Hopkins University, who not only knows Baltimore. But knows the word (Espantoon) backward and forward. Said he;

I once wrote an editorial partly dealing with that subject. Of course, the word is of Spanish origin – but how did it ever reach Baltimore and become an expression in our police department is a complete mystery.”

Now for the Oxford English dictionary. Oh what have we here? Espantoon? No, but there’s Espontoon, with an “O” which is defined as a half pike – not a half pint, mind you – But a Half Pike as carried by infantry officers. Then the quotation from Southey;

Capt. Lewis slipped and recovered himself by means of his Espontoon.”


Search goes on and on again

Well, all that in a question of spelling and derivation. It’s spelled Espantoon by the Baltimore Police Department, and that’s that.

Said George J Brennan, secretary to police Commissioner Stanton;

It is true that the expression nightstick as applied to those implements carried by policeman is somewhat generally used elsewhere. To my knowledge Espantoon has been used by the Baltimore Police Department for the last 30 years. I have no idea as to its origin.”

(Robert F. Stanton, 1938-1943 – meaning his 30 years puts us at 1908-1913 – We have news articles going back to 1837 using the word Espantoon to describe a Baltimore officer’s Nightstick – So that is more than 100 years before Stanton's time)

So there you are. The expression might have come to Baltimore with the early settlers as “Espontoon“ and then the spelling changed to “Espantoon.” (Imagine that, what would the grammar police have to say about that?)

On the other hand, the theory that some Spaniard brought it here holds good (possible), because the origin of the Spanish word – ESPANTO, to threaten – certainly applies to those Espantoon you see carried by our were the Baltimore policeman.


Swagger stick helped him strut

Now for the British Marine and his swagger stick. He used it on the head of one of the policeman trying to help him. Is it an effective weapon?

No! It’s just something for “putting on the dog” when off-duty in the British Army. According to the Oxford English dictionary, you may call it either a swagger cane or swagger stick, and it is the short cane or stick carried by British soldiers when walking out, or going out on the town.

Originally it was a riding crop, but when the infantry took it up, it became a swagger stick. Its weight is slight, and it does not make an effective weapon.

Anyhow, the moral to it all is this, if you’re looking for trouble early in the morning, don’t try to use a swagger stick against an Espantoon. Not only is it bad etiquette, but it’s bad for you all round. Espantoon! What a great word to stick in your brain and tumble out when you least expect it, like the song of the three little fishes.


Baltimore’s police Espantoon and how is used

Other cities called a nightstick, but it’s got to be an Espantoon here. Where did the word come from? Experts are stumped. Some say it’s of Spanish origin; others English. Look it up and go crazy. Police are supposed to swing Espantoon only in “case of dire necessity.”


Russ PomrenkeCourtesy Officer Russ Pomrenke
 

Espantoon History, Two years after the incorporation of the Baltimore Police Department in 1785 they appointed a police Chief and a high constable (then the Chief was known as a “Marshal”) at the time he toured the city caring a “mace”, and it was known as his "Badge of Office". Oddly enough to this day our Espantoon is known as our “Badge of Authority”. In an 1843 the Sun paper report, a watchman had someone try to take his Espantoon by grabbing it during an arrest. From that report we know what it was called a "Mace" around the time we started carrying them in 1787, and that it was called an Espantoon some 56 years later in 1843. Now let’s look at the two terms... first a “Mace” often when we think of a Mace we think of a stick/club with some sort of axe blades, or a spiked ball on a chain attached to it… the Mace part of the spiked ball and chain or axe bladed weapon is actually the handle, the stick that the spiked ball, or axe blades attach to. Later the Mace is switched to Espantoon, which is exclusive to Baltimore Police, and derived from the “Spontoon”. A Spontoon, sometimes known by the variant spelling Espontoon (or as a Half-Pike), is a type of European "Pole-arm" that came into being alongside the "Pike". The Spontoon was in wide use by the mid 17th century, 1650-1675’sh, and it continued to be used until the mid to late 19th century 1860/1890’s.

mace1Mace
mace2Mace
mace3Mace

Unlike the Pike, which was an extremely long weapon (typically 14 or 15 feet), the "Spontoon" measured only 6 or 7 feet in overall length (that is to include the handle/mace and the attatched weapon, blade/maul etc. Generally, this weapon featured a more elaborate head than the typical Pike. The head or weapon of a Spontoon often had a pair of smaller blades on each side, giving the weapon the look of a military fork, or a "Trident", but like a "Tomahawk", it could also hold a "Blunt" object.

Italians might have been the first to use the Spontoon, and, in its early days, the weapon was used for combat, before later becoming a more symbolic item. After the musket replaced the Pike as the primary weapon of the foot soldier, the Spontoon remained in use as a Signaling weapon. Non-commissioned officers carried the Spontoon as a symbol of their rank, and used it like a Mace, in order to issue battlefield commands to their men. (Commissioned officers carried and commanded with swords, although some British Army officers used Spontoons at the Battle of Culloden.)

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Spontoon was used by Sergeants to defend the colors of a battalion or regiment from cavalry attack. The Spontoon was one of few Pole type weapons that stayed in use long enough to make it into American history. As late as the 1890s, the Spontoon could still be seen accompanying marching soldiers. Now days you may have seen the leader of a marching band carrying something like a Spontoon often called a Baton. They used these items to give their commands, as commands were given either verbally, through hand gestures, using a whistle or a Baton, or with a Mace in the military.

Lewis and Clark brought Spontoons on their expedition with the Corps of Discovery. The weapons came in handy as backup arms when the Corps traveled through areas populated by bears.

There were also spontoon-style axes. These used the same shaped blades mounted on the side of the weapon, and had a shorter handle.

Today, a spontoon (or Espontoon, as it is referred to in the manual of arms) is carried by the drum major of the U.S. Army's Fife and Drum Corps, a ceremonial unit of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).

Spontoon12

A Spontoon or Mace held with a Spear Head

So if we take a look at the Spontoon, it is a Mace with a weapon end; the weapon can be sharp, blunt, or both. Now looking at the Espantoon, a mace with a blunt end, carved or turned onto it as opposed to being affixed or attached. The turned barrel head often mistaken for the handle on the nightstick but is actually the striking end of the Espantoon. Some say it was done this way on purpose, so people wouldn’t know it was the striking end, designed/disguised somewhat to look like a "Billy Club Handle". The Spontoon’s weapon end would sometime be rounded, turned with ring grooves, other times a small marble sized ball would turned on the end, this was decorative, but also served a purpose in using it on pressure points, or for jabbing moves. All the popular handle designs were used on the striking end of the Spontoon/Mace to create the Espantoon. The turnings/carvings include, Ring Grips, Fluting and a combination of the two to form what is known as a, Grenade Grip, later came two more that are similar, they are the "Billy Club Grip", or the "Tough-boy Grip". There is only one final grip type, but we would never see it on an Espantoon, that is the "Fingerlock Grip" and it isn’t seen on the Espantoon, because it would lighten the striking end, and cause hard/sharp edges that would cause injuries that we don’t want. The "Fingerlock Grip" is most often found on the Truncheon, a Billy Club types weapon made for striking the subject, and less for jabs, arm bars, and wrist locks. While an Espantoon is made to strike or jab, it isn’t made to cause serious injury as much as it is meant for protection to the officer, by bringing the subject under control as fast as possible and with minimal injury. More often than not fear of the Espantoon would be enough, withdrawing it from its ring, or removing it from under the officer's arm, would have a person quickly submit. In short we can see from old news reports in Baltimore, where we started with the "Mace", in 1798, back then it was known as “The Badge of Office” later it went to the Spontoon, and finally the Espantoon. Add to this, the Espantoon, or Nightstick, to this day is known as a “Badge of Authority” and we know the Mace/Spontoon evilved into what is todsy known as the Espantoon.
Lt stick and laser
This Espantoon made by Elite Espantoon (Chase Armington)
belongs in the collection of Lieutenant George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio

P1020896(1) This Straight Stick/Baton
A Gift from Lieutenant George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio

P1020900This Straight Stick/Baton
A Gift from Lieutenant George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio
Ring Grip

P1020904This Straight Stick/Baton
A Gift from Lieutenant George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio

72 DSC3349This Straight Stick/Baton
A Gift from Lieutenant George Jeffery 
Middletown, Ohio
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(2) Courtesy Patty
Carl Hagen Model Espantoon / Nightstick 1960's
Ring Grip/Barrel head

Basil Wilson
(3) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson

Basil Wilson 2
(4) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson

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(5) Courtesy Bobby Brown
Parade/Presentation Night Stick - Barrel Head

Bobby Brown 2
(6) Courtesy Bobby Brown
Parade/Presentation Night Stick - Barrel Head

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(7) My BPD Issued Espantoon 1987
Ring Grip/Barrel Head

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(8) Purpleheart Wood Espantoon
Courtesy Chase Armington & Elite Espantoons
Ring Grip/Barrel Head

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(9) Koga Baton Courtesy Craig Meier
Straight Stick

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(10) Espantoon Courtesy Denny Driscoll
Barrel Head

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(11) Espantoon Courtesy Denny Driscoll
City Issue - Barrel Head - Ring Grip

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(12) Baton - Courtesy Donald Chase
Straight Stick

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(13) Baton Courtesy Patty
Parade/Presentation Night Stick - Barrel Head
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(14) Long Billy Clu
b
This is known as a "Ring Grip" and came to me Courtesy Jim Comegna Sr.

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(15) Straight Stick
The grip on this is a combination of two common grips, A) Fluted, and B) Ring Grip, to make an even more common grip known as a "Grenade Grip" this came to me Courtesy Patty
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(16) PR-24
The grip on the stick is a combination of two common grips, A) Fluted, and B) Ring Grip, to make an even more common grip known as a "Grenade Grip" - The grip on the handle is known as a "Billy Club Grip" this also came to me Courtesy Patty

Kenny 2

(17) Billy Club - Courtesy Kenny and Brittany
Ring Grip/Billy Club Grip

Kenny 3

(18) Billy Club - Courtesy Kenny and Brittany
WW 2 MILITARY POLICE BATON BILLY CLUB
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(19) Courtesy Mrs. Dottie 
Bethlehem Steel Security
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip

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(20) My Homemade Espantoon circa 1990
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip

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(21) My 1987 Joseph "Nightstick J
oe" Hlafka Espantoon
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip

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(22) Billy Club Courtesy the NYPD
Notice There's No Strap Groove and the Shaft End Tappers Out from the Handle
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip

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(23) Espantoon Straight Shaft, Making the Barrel End the Striking End - Courtesy Patty
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip (No Swival dates this to prior to 1960)

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(24) Straight Stick.Baton - These had a Strap that Wrapped
Over the Thumb and Around the Hand, like the Espantoon, they were used for Jabbing, Striking, and Arm Bar Holds down around the handle end, there are Ring Grips, other models have a Fluted Grip - Courtesy Patty
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(25) Billy Club with Ring Grip/Barrel Head - Courtesy Patty
Patty 5
(26) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Patty

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(27) Billy Club - Courtesy Patty
Ring Lock/Barrel Head

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(28) Courtesy Patty
Barrel Head/ Ring Grip

Patty 8
(29) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Patty

Patty 9 DayStick 1800s
(30) Daystick 1800's Ring Grip - Courtesy Patty
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(31) Riot Baton with "Fingerlock Grip" - Courtesy Patty
Patty 11 Day Stick 1800s
(32) Daystick
This is a combination "Ring Grip" and "Tough Boy Grip" it is late 1800's Early 1900's
known as a Daystick and came to me Courtesy Patty

72 DSC3354
(33) Courtesy Patty
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip

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(34) Courtesy The RAM - Ronald A. Miller
Carl Hagen / Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip

72 DSC3336
(35) Courtesy Richard Boblitz
Billy Club - Ring Grip
M-1944 the U.S. Army M.P. club approved in June 1944

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(36) Courtesy Ray Wheatley  - 1950's BPD issued this type stick
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip

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(37) Courtesy Ray Wheatley
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip / Modified

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(38) Courtesy Ray Wheatley
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip

72  DSC3321
(39) Courtesy Richard Boblitz
Edward W. Bremer  Model Espantoon / Nightstick Early 1950's / No Swivel

72 DSC3384
(40) Koga Baton (AKA Koga Stick) Courtesy Todd Eibner
Trica Matt
(41) Billy Club Ring Grip / Billy Club Grip - Courtesy Tricia & Matt
Trica Matt 2
(42) Courtesy Tricia & Matt - West German Police "Gummi Knuppel" or "Gummi Wapenstock".  This type was in use with all German Lander forces for years & was carried concealed
in a pocket of the uniform trousers. The metal protrusion on top was utilized when the baton was carried attached to the uniform belt when the officer was engaged in the initial stages of public order duty, before officers dressed in riot gear are brought forward as the situation escalates & the level of force required rises.
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(43) Courtesy Robert Weitzel
1920's BPD Issue Espantoon - Sgt. Edward Thomas Weitzel
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip
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(44) A Smith & Wesson NightStick This has a Ring Grip Courtesy Patty
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(45) 34" Straight Riot Stick Finger Lock Grip Courtesy Patty

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(46) 36" Straight Riot Stick Fluted Grip Courtesy Patty

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(47) 26" Straight Stick Fluted Grip Courtesy Patty
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(48) 36" Straight Riot Stick Fluted Grips on both ends Courtesy Patty
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(49) Louisville Slugger
Hillerich & Bradsby Co
Trademark
Louisvillr KY.
Circa 1940/50s
Courtesy Patty
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(50) Monadnock Lifetime Monpac Night Sticks
17 1/2" long x 1 1/2" around
It has Ring Grip done in such a way as to provide a Finger Lock Grip
72 11 DSC3332

(51) Monadnock Lifetime Night Sticks
24" long x 1 1/2" around w/Metal Ball on top Billy Club Grip
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(52) Billy Club - 23" long Courtesy Ray Wheatley
72 DSC3381
(53) Straight Stick - Ring Grip
72 DSC3323
(54) 1950 BPD Issue w/Leather Thong/Strap / No Swival
Espantoon / Barrel Head / Ring Grip
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(55) 1930's 22" Darley - Billy Club
The Darley was marketed in the late 1930's
This was one of two patterns used by U.S. Navy Shore Patrols during WW2
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(56) Straight Stick 26" Fluted Grip Courtesy Patty
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(57) 1940's Nightstick formerly owned by Welsh Actress, Tessie O'Shea
Mrs. O'Shea appeared in such movies as "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"
The Walt Disney film where she played the part of Mrs. Hobday
Mrs. O'Shea was born in 1913 and passed away in 1995
She also played herself in the movie 1949 "Blue Lamp"
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(58) Chicago Patrolman's Baton
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(59) Monadnock® PR-2472 DSC3325
(60)  PR24 Training Stick

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(61) A Smith & Wesson Espantoon - Stick Courtesy of Patty - Photo by Dennis
Stick #44 is also a S&W Nightstick
The markings are different - This one appears to be a few years newer
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(62) 24' Straight Stick - Ring Grip - Courtesty James Driscoll
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(63) Billy Club - Ring Grip - Courtesy James Driscoll
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(64) 36" Long Riot Stick - Finger Lock Grip - Courtesy James Driscoll
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(65) Homemade Nightstick/Espantoon/Swag Stick Courtesy Denny Driscoll
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(66) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson

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(67) Truncheon
This is known as a "Fingerlock Grip" and was Courtesy Basil Wilson
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(68
) Straight Espantoon - Courtest Paul Hauer
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(69) 4ft Koga Riot/Mounted Stick
Courtesy Kirk Kluver
bandk
(70) Lead Filled Pocket Billy Club / Ring Grip
(Lead Filled Capped with Casing from a .38 Cal. Winchester)
1930's Courtesy of Kenny and Brittany
jandL
(71) Pocket Nightstick / Ring Grip
Courtesy James and Lisa
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(72) M1944 Shore Patrol - Black with the Shaft Painted White
I am told this was done by SP so they could use it as a defensive weapon
and as a point control device while directing traffic.
The idea came from an idea used by the Soviet Union (SEE Stick #73 BELOW)
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(73) 1950s Soviet Russia
Russian Traffic Militia GAI Pointsman Vintage Wooden Baton
Like the above stick #72 This Baton was designed to be used as a defensive weapon
or a Point Control device while the officer directs traffic
Shipped to us from Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia
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(74) Knobkierie 1930's/40's shipped from Carmeil Isreal
to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's
and the British Mandate Period of Palestine
Shipped to us from
carmeil, Israel

72 DSC3390
(75) Pick Axe - 1930's/40's shipped from Carmeil Isreal
to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's
and the British Mandate Period of Palestine
Shipped to us from
carmeil, Israel

72 DSC3392
(76) Pick Axe - 1930's/40's shipped from Carmeil Isreal
to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's
and the British Mandate Period of Palestine
Shipped to us from
carmeil, Israel

carmeil Isreal 3
( 74 75 76 ) 1930's/40's Carmeil Isreal

British Mandate Period Palestine 1930's and 40's

carmeil Isreal 2
( 74 75 76 )
1930's/40's shipped from Carmeil Isreal
to us for our Museum they are from the 1930's-40's
and the British Mandate Period of Palestine
Shipped to us from
carmeil, Israel


Stick #76 the one on the far right is a "Knobkerrie" or "Kirri". It takes its name from the Dutch word "Knop" (meaning "Knob" or "Button") and is the name of a weapon used by Southern African people such as the Zulu and the Xhosa or Thembu people.  It was used for chasing game and at times for warfare. It is probable that Army or Police Officers who had served in some of the African areas adopted the knobkerri as a Swagger or Walking-stick. Stick #74 the one to the far left

Palestine circa 1936.  British Palestine Police on duty in Clock Tower Square, Jaffa, faced Arab crowds.  The front rank of police were armed with pick axe handles whilst the second rank carry small circular metal riot shields & the standard truncheon.  The BPP at this time had stocks of truncheons provided from London Metropolitan police stores. The reason some police carried pick axe handles was because to the longer reach, as opposed to the shorter truncheon.  It was not a case of the Arab members of the Force carrying an inferior riot control weapon, (in fact the pock axe was proably a more exspensive weapon than a regulation truncheon) some of the British police on duty that day also carried and used the pick axe handles.  

 

Jaffa square riotJaffa Square Riot

The Police Officers with pick axe handles in the front rank may be Arab Police Officers, whilst the second rank would have been from the British Section of the Force and would have had the better truncheon.  It should be pointed out that some police also carried pick axe handles because of the longer reach of the pick axe handle as opposed to the shorter regulation truncheon.  It was not a case of the Arab members of the Force carrying an inferior riot control weapon, indeed some British police on duty that day also carried pick axe handles. The British Palestine Police had a British Section, an Arab Section & Jewish Police Officers also.

Baton charge
Baton Charge - Jaffa Square
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(
77) Nightstick 1920's possibly from The W. S. Darley, Police Supply Co.
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(78) Baton Pine Circa 1940's
72 DSC3348 
(79M1944 Shore Patrol - "Black" but like #72 above
the shaft was "White", in this case it apears as if
the shaft was paited white, and then the entie stick painted black.
I am told the White stick with Black grip was done by SP so they could
use it as a defensive weapon, and as a point control device while directing traffic.
The idea came from an idea used by the Soviet Union (SEE Stick #72 Above)
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(80) 1920's Baltimore City Police issued Espantoon.

This has been modified by the officer, who carved the barrel head to give this an entirely new look.
(We are thinking of modifying it further by adding the a button to the top of the Barrel Head as in the opening pic)


PICK AXE HANDLE
(81M-1910 Pick-Mattock Handle (1940's)
This was used for multiple tools, it had a pick axe carried in a canvas case in two parts.
Used for intrenching, but like most tools of this size/shape, it was also used in hand-to-hand
combat from to time to time when all else failed

 1wq157
(82) Vintage Soviet USSR Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Baton Stick 1940s/50's
Shipped to us from
Vilnius, Lithuania

83
(83) Baton - Looking at the thong and the way it is attatched, you' notice this stick is not used like a Baltimore Stick, and in this case, the "Barrel Head" actualy is the handle and the "Shaft End" of the stick is the Striking/Jabbing end. This vintage turned hardwood police baton is 22" Long
83i

(83)
Knobkierie
Knobkierie

A Knobkierie, also spelled knobkerrie, knopkierie or knobkerry, is a form of club used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkierie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft.
This is about 16" long the knob at the end is about the diameter of a golf ball

 

The name derives from the Afrikaans word KNOP, meaning KNOT or BALL and the Nama (one of the Khoekhoe languages) word KIERIE, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.

 

Knobkieries were an indispensable weapon of war, particularly among southern Nguni tribes such as the Zulu (as the IWISA) and the Xhosa. Knobkieries was occasionally used during World War I The weapon also being carried by British soldiers in Siegfried Sassoon's fictionalised autobiography.

 

During the Apartheid era in South Africa, they were often carried and used by protesters and sometimes by the police opposing them. The Knobkierie is still widely used and carried, especially in rural areas, while in times of peace it serves as a walking, or swagger-stick. The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces, or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierie itself serves this function on the current South African Coat of Arms, and on the, "Order of Mendi" for Bravery. A KNOBKIERIE also appeared on the flag of Lesotho 1987-2006, the Coat of Arms of Lesotho since its independence in 1966 as well as the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Ciskei.

entrenching tool handle 2
Pick-axe or Entrenching Tool Handles
Pick axe handle carried
Army Riot Squad-the Fourth in File from Front is Carrying a Pick-axe Helve (Handle)
Rather than a Riot Baton.
entrenching tool handles
Pick-axe cut to Helves for use as Baton
 57

Vintage Wooden Espantoon / Nightstick
5
Vintage Wooden Espantoon / Nightstick
PAUL HAUER  ESPANTOON BLUE PRINTS 12 DEC 2014 72
Paul Hauer Espantoon Circa 1920 - Blue Print of above stick
stick 22 inches
(55) Introduced to me by Basil Wilson
This is the grip to a 1930's 22" Darley - Billy Club
Darley  Billy Club BLUE PRINTS 12 DEC 2014 72
Darley Billy Club Circa 1930/40's - Blue Print of above stick
old saps amp blackjacks poster150
An old 1930's ad showing the Darley Club, at the time this hand turned, hickery, Police Club, sold for a whopping 87¢ and if you sent cash; you would save a gigantic 3% bringing your cost down to around 85¢
darley nightstick
(55) is a Darley Billy Club/Nightstick
Distributed through W.S. Darlry & Company, Chicago
Club MP Reg Page 5i
M-1944 Blueprint Courtesy Basil Wilson
See Stick (35)
KSCN0062i72
Courtesy Basil Wilson
Chicago Patrolmans Stick
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Courtesy Basil Wilson
Chicago Supervisors Stick
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espantoon
Gang Busters "Nightstick"
YOU CAN'T BEAT THE LAW!
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Sunpaper reports a male suspect attacked the officer from over top as the officer was arresting a female subject. The Officer needs to use his Espantoon to defend himself.
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The Plainclothe officer calls the uniformed officer to assist him in his arrest as the suspect resisted arrest, the officer again needed to use his Espantoon to stop the suspect from resisting.
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Monadnock

Monadnock has been around with quality nightsticks, being considered as one of the leading Tactical Baton, Restraint and training aid supply companies, being one of the top choices of law enforcement professionals worldwide. For more than 50 years, Monadnock Tactical Batons has reflected the collective heritage, and expertise of a company focused on providing the highest quality gear equipment to police, military, and security professionals who depend on them every day, for self-protection and to protect those in the community that has been sworn to protect. The truncheon or Billy-club is an indispensable piece of police equipment, as primitive as a stick, and Monadnock Tactical Batons come in options to suit every professional need. Monadnock makes reliable batons for law officials, and tactical baton accessories suitable for riot control and crowd control. Monadnock equips law officers the world over, through academy training with soft training weapons, to actual self-defense weapons that will last a "lifetime" of work in the field.

More law enforcement officers choose to carry an American-made Monadnock expandable baton over any of the other competing brands. A collapsible baton makes for easier, and more discreet carrying, while a side handle baton gives more flexibility in grip and technique. Whether you need a telescopic baton, a stun baton, or an expandable steel baton, Monadnock makes it. Each police baton from Monadnock is made with the strongest materials, so you never have to worry - a Monadnock Baton is always ready when you need it.

 

Carl Hagen 1950 60s(39) Early Carl Hagen
Carl Hagen Espantoon 1955 i 72
Carl Hagen 1955 Mock-Up Blue Print
Carl Hagen 1960 70s
(2) Later Carl Hagen
CARL HAGEN 1960 ESPANTOON BLUE PRINTS 10 DEC 2014 i 72
Carl Hagen 1960 Mock-Up Blue Print

daystick late 1800s early 1900s
(30) Late 1800's Early 1900's Daystick
Daystick early 1900s
(32) Late 1800's Daystick
Porter daystick Blue Print  72

Daystick 1800's Mock-Up Blue Print
Espantoon 1960 70s
(34) The Ram's 1950's BPD Issue (could be Park Police Issue)
JOSEPH NIGHTSTICK JOE HLAFKA 24 ESPANTOON CIRCA 1987 i 72Nightstick Joe - 1980's Mock-Up Blue Print
billy club measured

(52) Billy Club Handle 6 1/2 inches
Espantoon 24 inch Baltimore Issue i 72
(7) BPD Issue Espantoon - Blue Print Mock-Up

1920s

(57)
Vintage Policeman's Billy Club from the estate of the late Welsh/American
entertainer/actress, Tessie O'Shea. This hardwood Police Nightstick
Measures approximately 22.5" x 1.25" in diameter; the leather strap (no swival).
Mrs. O'Shea was in Bedknobs and Broomsticks as well she played herself in The Blue Lamp
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(44) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)
BW SW blue prINTS 72
(44) A Smith & Wesson Billy Club - Mock Blue Print
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(61) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)
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(61) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)
sw3
(61) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)
sw4
(61) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)
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(61) A Smith & Wesson NightStick (This has a Ring Grip)


LAY OFF BILLIES, POLICE ARE TOLD

The Sun (1837-1987); Dec 1, 1937;
pg. 15
LAY OFF BILLIES, .POLICE ARE TOLD

O'Dunne, In New Police School Talk, Calls Use Sign of Inefficiency - Judge Thinks Question Debatable Whether They Should Be Carried at all
“Lay off use of the nightstick,” Judge Eugene O’Dunne told policeman gathered yesterday at a regular session of the newly organize police school held in the Northern District Police Station.

Judge O’Dunne outline points for police to remember and preparing and presenting cases before the criminal court, in which he has been sitting this year. Warning the policeman against use of the nightstick, Judge O’Dunne said;

“It is a debatable question of policy whether officers should carry them at all. The London police, for the most part, go unarmed. I think it is a mistake in this country to judge everything by the customs of London. We are not Britishers.

 

Cities Cosmopolitan

“We live in cosmopolitan communities where nearly half of the population is foreign-born,” the judge continued, “in London only 3%, are not British-born. They have an inherent respect for law. It is a tradition with them. They Rivera authority. That sentiment does not prevail in America, at least not as it does over there…” Pointing out that most frequent use of the nightstick is on so-called drunks. Judge O’Dunne said; “ordinarily, an officer who uses the nightstick in such cases proves his inefficiency, nearly every use of the nightstick, in my judgment, warns a formal hearing before the Commissioner, as to the necessity or justification for it.

 

Viewed with Suspicion

“there are times when it may be justified, such as a riot, etc. But it is ordinarily viewed with grave suspicion, and any officer habitually reporting to it may be a fit subject for survey and retirement or dismissal in cases of use without full justification.”

Calling the story of the Baltimore police “one of honor and of romance.” Judge O’Dunne declared that the department must keep pace with changing times, and that this is an age of specialization, with a demand for specialist. He continues;

“the Police Department, which is one of the efficient agencies of government. Is not exempt from this inexorable demand. The criminal today is more scientific in his approach to crime than the police department which attempts to cope with him in the suppression of his activity and in his capture, trial and conviction after he has played his hand in an attempt to commit “the perfect crime.”

Commanding William P Lawson, Commissioner of police, on the existence of the police school, Judge O’Dunne said:

“I understand the promotion of the school and the burden of perpetuating it is due to magistrate Harry W. Allers, one of the young progressives of his age. More power to them. When he is as old as I am, he may be regarded as the “father of the new police system.” It is a title of which he may well be proud.”

Asserting that an error of education will be required to live down many prejudices associated with police work, Judge O’Dunne said “the idea that colleges or universities training cannot be helpful to those engaged in the ferreting out of crime, is one of those prejudices.”

 

Proves Falsity, Claim

“Jay. Edgar Hoover, head of the federal Bureau of investigation.” He continued, “has demonstrated the falsity of this idea. The results of his work are the answer to such challenges. He has on his staff men of the highest order of scientific training specialist in all branches, universities graduates of the higher order.”

Advocating a course in criminal law for all members of the Police Department, Judge O’Dunne gave the police pointers on their actions on the witness stand, what they should look for in preparing cases and some advice on what will be admitted in the court as evidence

 

Terms in Shortcut

In speaking of confessions, Judge O’Dunne said:

“I give it is my opinion, based on long observation, that forms of third-degree are too frequently resorted to, and later, too strenuously denied.

“There is a great temptation to get evidence from the prisoner, instead of hunting it up and running it down, by skill and industry.”

Judge O’Dunne, who opened his address by pointing to the work done by the department in preventing crime, was introduced by Commissioner Lawson


m pr24 1
Monadnock PR-24 with Trumble Stop
Monadnock PR24 Blue Print 72
(59) MONADNOCK PR24
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Wrapping the strap over the ring finger will often land the stick in the palm.
If adjustments are needed, move up to the middle finger.

 

Baton Designs
As much as we like to call our "Nightsticks" and "Espantoon", espantoons, come in different sizes shapes etc. and all fall under the category of a Baton, so the following article covers Batons, various sizes, shapes and names. Batons in common use by police around the world include many different designs, such as fixed-length straight batons, blackjacks, fixed-length side-handle batons, collapsible straight batons, and other more exotic variations. All of these different types of batons have their advantages, and disadvantages.

The design and popularity of specific types of baton have evolved over the years and are influenced by a variety of factors. These include inherent compromises in the dual (and competing) goals of control effectiveness and safety (for both officer and subject). They have three basic lengths in your standard Espantoon/Nightstick they are the “Nightstick” about 24 to 26 inches, the “Daystick” 12 to 14 inches, and the “Mounted Longstick/Horseback Stick” these ranged from 36 to 38 inches. Each of these three sticks were often custom made and could be a little longer or shorter than the norm. These different sizes were used for different shifts, and different assignments, and just as they were more comfortable to use a Daystick for dayshift and a nightsticks for nightsticks, it was necessary for the Mounted to use a Longstick; some officers needed a stick a little longer or shorter than the norm. These were and still are used to defend against attack, and as such require differences to adjust them to better fit the officer's needs. We hope this page will show the different sticks used and in use around the world and in the Baltimore Police department.


 57yes2Courtesy of eBay seller Vexmore out of Huston Texas
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Courtesy of eBay seller Vexmore out of Huston Texas

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 57picked4uaz

es·pan·toon
noun \ˌeˌspan‧ˈtün\-s of Form

Full Definition of ESPANTOON in Baltimore:  a policeman's club

Origin of ESPANTOON - Derives from that of a pole weapon, the Spontoon, which was carried by infantry officers of the British Army during the Revolutionary period.


SpontoonSpontoon

A Spontoon, sometimes known by the variant spelling espontoon (or as a half-pike), is a type of European pole-arm that came into being alongside the pike. The spontoon was in wide use by the mid 17th century, and it continued to be used until the mid to late 19th century.

Unlike the pike, which was an extremely long weapon (typically 14 or 15 feet), the spontoon measured only 6 or 7 feet in overall length. Generally, this weapon featured a more elaborate head than the typical pike.

The head of a spontoon often had a pair of smaller blades on each side, giving the weapon the look of a military fork, or a trident.

Italians might have been the first to use the spontoon, and, in its early days, the weapon was used for combat, before it became more of a symbolic item.

After the musket replaced the pike as the primary weapon of the foot soldier, the spontoon remained in use as a signalling weapon. Non-commissioned officers carried the spontoon as a symbol of their rank and used it like a mace, in order to issue battlefield commands to their men. (Commissioned officers carried and commanded with swords, although some British Army officers used spontoons at the Battle of Culloden.)

During the Napoleonic Wars, the spontoon was used by sergeants to defend the colors of a battalion or regiment from cavalry attack. The spontoon was one of few pole weapons that stayed in use long enough to make it into American history. As late as the 1890s, the spontoon could still be seen accompanying marching soldiers.

Lewis and Clark brought spontoons on their expedition with the Corps of Discovery. The weapons came in handy as backup arms when the Corps traveled through areas populated by bears.

There were also spontoon-style axes. These used the same shaped blades mounted on the side of the weapon, and had a shorter handle.

Today, a spontoon (or espontoon, as it is referred to in the manual of arms) is carried by the drum major of the U.S. Army's Fife and Drum Corps, a ceremonial unit of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).


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The spontoon being the wooden portion of the weapon, the pike or axe tool head was made of a metal or even stone that was added to the spontoon - these would eventually be removed and the spontoon cut down in length from around 6 feet in length to just 2 ft. Often these Spontoons would have a wood carved head on the striking end, giving us more of a Billy Club, Baton, that would become what is known in Baltimore as the Espantoon. As is described elsewhere on this page, the Espantoon is a combination of many of these hand to hand fighting weapons, and in Baltimore you will still see the Espantoon carried by our police, as basic and primal as a stick, could be the difference between an officer going home at the end of the shift.

 

Mace
Mace

A mace is a blunt weapon, a type of club or virge that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows. A mace typically consists of a strong, heavy, wooden or metal shaft, often reinforced with metal, featuring a head made of stone, copper, bronze, iron, or steel.

The head of a military mace can be shaped with flanges or knobs to allow greater penetration of plate armor. The length of maces can vary considerably. The maces of foot soldiers were usually quite short (two or three feet, or seventy to ninety centimeters). The maces of cavalrymen were longer and thus better suited for blows delivered from horseback. Two-handed maces could be even larger.

Maces are rarely used today for actual combat, but a large number of government bodies (for instance the British House of Commons, the U.S. Congress), universities and other institutions have ceremonial maces and continue to display them as symbols of authority. They are often paraded in academic, parliamentary or civic rituals and processions.

Chemical Mace an interesting name for it, basically a chemical designed to stop someone the way an actual mace would, but less or no blood... The actual Mace is a blunt weapon, a type of Club or Virge that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows. A Mace typically consists of a strong, heavy, wooden or metal shaft, often reinforced with metal, featuring a head made of Stone, Copper, Bronze, Iron, or Steel with a Pike or Axe attached to the end... removing the Pike or Axe you still have a Mace.. So a Mace is basically a Pike or Axe handle. Same with the Spontoon as described below - The head of a military Mace can be shaped with Flanges or Knobs to allow greater penetration of plate armor. The length of a Mace can vary considerably. The Mace of foot soldiers were usually quite short (two or three feet, or 24 to 36 inches). The Maces of cavalrymen were longer and thus better suited for blows delivered from horseback. Two-handed Maces could be even larger. Maces are rarely used today for actual combat, but a large number of government bodies (for instance the British House of Commons, the U.S. Congress), universities and other institutions have Ceremonial Maces and continue to display them as symbols of authority. They are often paraded in academic, parliamentary or civic rituals and processions. It is from the Mace that the Spontoon and then Espantoon evolved, and best of all, the old metal or stone pike became part of the wooden Mace/Spontoon as it was carved or turned into the stick, known as the Barrel Head (The striking end of the Espantoon).

 
KSCN004072Courtesy Mark Frank
1960 Unstained Departmental Sticks
From Sun Article Policeman's Bestfriend

Espantoon

Sheila S Nyka
The Sun (1837-1987);
Jul 19, 1979;

pg. A16
Espantoon

Sir: In his witty and amusing July 19 page A16 article, Girard Ordway does not suggest an origin for the word "espantoon." Is it not probable that this is derived from the Spanish verb "espan·tar" which, according to my dictionary, means "To frighten, terrify, chase You"? Shella S. Nyka Baltimore.

 KSCN0032i72Courtesy Mark Frank
1960 Carl Hagen Stick
From Sun Article Policeman's Bestfriend


Local matters (Police Officer Shot)
Baltimore Sun 5 January 1858
pg 1

Police Officer Shot – John Winkleman, a police officer attached to the Southern District Force, was essentially shot in the thigh a few evenings ago since (2 January 1858) by his revolver which exploded in his pocket. He was thoughtlessly whirling a stick around between his fingers, when the bludgeon struck the hammer of the weapon, causing it to discharge its load into his thigh. The ball was extracted by a surgeon.

Several things to note, one use of the word "Bludgeon" - A bludgeon refers to a heavy club used as a weapon. This was 1858 and I have articles before this time calling it an Espantoon, so this just might be the author, but he did say Twirling the stick between his fingers, So we have them twirling a stick as far back as 1858. Now in reference to the gun, in the 1800's they carried in their pocket, some used a pocket holster, many were injured, even killed by accidental discharge, looking at the wording, the writer says, "causing it to discharge its load into his thigh" this is singular, as its not one of it's loads, a round etc. this was a single shot weapon. Also vary common of our early police to carry. This being a time when the department didn't issue a firearm. So this one little article is full of history, and information.


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Nightstick
Where the Word Comes From

The word "Nightstick" comes about because it's opposite of an old stick known as a "Day stick". During the "Day" officers carried a stick that was about 12" long and was more like a club, or what is used today as a "Tire thumper", the handle end was turned much the way the barrel end of the nightstick is, and the leather strap was shorter too. The Nightstick was twice as long or a little longer coming in at 24" to 26" in length, the barrel end, often confused as the handle is actually the striking end, in Baltimore the leather strap is attached at the barrel end, and is as long as the stick, it holds a swivel that allows the officer to spin said stick for longer periods of time without it becoming tangled up. Spinning as you will read elsewhere on this page served multiple purposes, first it kept people out of the officer's personal space, but it also, let the thug that might have thoughts of standing up to an officer, think twice, he or she might realize, and officer that can spin a stick from side to side, over his arm, under his arm and around his body, catching it every time, or spinning it for several minutes nonstop before simply placing his or hand out at time to catching it. These fancy spins, often called spinning, twirling, or making the stick dance, can usually be seen as the officer walks his beat, talks to his partner, a businessman or civilian on his beat while seemingly not paying attention to his stick at all. It is these acrobatics with the sticks that makes the average thug think twice about the officer’s skill with said stick. I look at it like this, if simply tucking the stick under your arm as you talk to a suspect will intimidate him or her into an orderly fashion, then spinning the stick with skill will no doubt calm any hostile actions they might have had.  

 

Elite Espantoons
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I'm not a salesman, so don't take this as a sales pitch, take it as a friendly piece of advice; I was researching Nightsticks and Espantoons for this site, when asked by my good friend, Officer Jim Mitchell, about having his stick re-strapped. (as he made this request Jim is basically in hospice. I am loyal to my friends, and loyal to my brothers & sisters in law enforcement, so I looked into having it done with the intent on doing it at any, and all cost.) I contacted, Chase Armington, of Elite Espantoons; Chase, was so interested in helping me, help Jim, make sure he could go to his grave with a complete stick, that he drove more than 90 miles west from his place to mine, paying nearly $20 in tolls, another $20 in gas for the 180+ mile, round trip, so that Chase could re-strap Jim's stick. When he was done he wouldn’t take a dime to help cover his costs. I was planning on taking the stick to Jim that following Saturday, but was so impressed with Chase’s ethics, and the work that he had done, that I asked my wife to hop in our truck with me, and we drove more than 90 additional miles west from my place in Baltimore, to Jim's place in Hanover Pennsylvania. I was able to give Jim his stick that day; the look on his face was worth the trip(s). None of it would have been possible without the help of Chase Armington & Elite Espantoons, aside from making one hell of a stick, Chase adds to it the best quality leather, and swivel money can buy. The swivel used would easily hold a 400lb tuna, and is obviously top grade, so obvious in fact that without a word from Chase, I noticed it from across the room, and when I handed the stick to Jim, the first thing he said was, "This swivel is much nicer than the swivel that was on there!" So aside from his doing something selfless for one of our Baltimore Police, let me tell you a little about Chase.
Chase Armington is the owner operator of Elite Espantoons. Chase makes what are in my opinion some of the finest Espantoon (nightsticks) being made today. He began his career in law enforcement in 2004 in Pennsylvania, transferring everything to Maryland in 2007. He has held the position of "OIC" overseeing his department in PA, Sergeant in Perryville PD, Second in Command Port Deposit PD, Deputy Sheriff, and Detective at Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office. Chase began turning his version of the Baltimore Espantoon out of necessity to keep one of the longest standing traditions in police history alive. Every Espantoon he turns is unique, and individual. He doesn't use a duplicator, and he usually will not make a stick until it is ordered. He thinks of himself as "A simple guy with a little bit of talent to turn a stick." I think he is a little more than that, "He's good police, with an old-school police brotherhood "mindset"; working hard for his fellow officer; on top of this he just happens to be able to turn a damn good stick!" He has sold hundreds of his Espantoons, and currently has them all over the world, each one is unique, and each one is logged and remembered. It is still amazing and very humbling to Chase, that officers, family, and friends alike will purchase one of his sticks. He is humbled and unable to truly express the amount of gratitude he has for each order. Someone once said, "Man you must be making a killing selling those sticks", his simple reply is "I don't do it for profit, I do it for the tradition." From personal experience, I turned sticks myself back in the late 80's early 90's, if I made $10 profit, per sale, I was selling a bad stick, and I never made more than $7.50/$8.00 on a stick. Times have changed, and the days of the $25.00 nightstick are long gone. But the low profit has not changed a bit! Sticks are made of good hardwoods, exotic hardwoods, the better the wood the more it cost, on top of a good block of wood, which could cost from $35 to $65, there's the swivel, the leather strap, sandpaper, steel wool, stain, polyurethane, or oils, there's tools, tooling and maintenance; today’s profits haven't changed much over the last 20 to 25 years even with $50 to $100 sticks, the profit sits at just under $10. When a person turns "quality" sticks, it is not to become rich... just like someone becomes a police officer... they aren't doing it for the money and if they are, they are doing something wrong. Chase is doing it all right, his sticks will serve you well.
Making a better stick, could save an officer's life; having that better stick could save your own life. These days a cheap stick will cost $45 to $65 dollars, and it is low quality, for an extra $5 to $35 you could have the best, and you're worth it. If you want a stick that will last you a lifetime, that could be passed down from officer to officer over the years; contact Chase at Elite Espantoons, P.O. Box 48 - North East, Maryland 21901 - (610)721-7343 - 
I wouldn't steer you wrong, these are among the best sticks made, his cheapest stick is $50 his best is only $100 and he has a few in between. When you buy one of Chase's sticks, it isn't an off the shelf stick; it is turned for you personally by Chase, and you will be able to carry it with pride. To give an example of how much I like Chase's product, I have ordered two already, one from his list of seven, and one custom that will take him time to find the wood. In the end I plan on having all seven sticks Chase makes, plus my custom stick.

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Barrel End (Striking/Jabbing End)

Some old sticks are turned with this ball or point of the end; it is both decorative and useful in defense tactics. Sticks are used as striking weapon in most cases, but not always, there are arm bars, and pressure point tactics used, the ball or point at the "Barrel" end of the stick, the end that looks like the handle, is actually the striking end, the ball can be used on pressure points and as a jabbing weapon, when poked into the stomach, there is less a chance of serious injury and a great likelihood that the suspect will quickly give up. When a suspect refuses to put their hands behind their back, often while on the ground, the stick can be placed between the arm and elbow to gain leverage and forcibly twist the arm back.   

Espantoon

The Espantoon is a wooden police baton equipped with a long leather strap for twirling. It originated, and is still strongly associated, with the Baltimore Police Department in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The term is considered distinctly Baltimorean.

The word itself derives from that of a pole weapon, the Spontoon, which was carried by infantry officers of the British Army during the Revolutionary period. Since then the Espantoon has been considered a symbol of the "policeman's office and dignity". Before the advent of wireless communications, the Espantoon was reportedly used by Baltimore policemen to call for assistance where its user would bang it on the curb, cobblestone streets, or a downspout/drainpipe.

Officers were often seen twirling their sticks, some called it twirling, others spinning and still others called it making the stick dance. This technique, of spinning the stick at the end of a strap of leather, had some other things about it that were unique to Baltimore; Baltimore officers were among the first officers to insert a swivel in the strap these swivels normally come from fishing lures, but have also been made from a keychain swivel, and would allow the stick to be spun continually for long periods of time. There were several reasons to spin a stick; it started with a need to communicate, officers had control of the stick and could bounce it off the ground/street to signal officers on adjoining posts. Other uses were to create distance, people could never enter the officers, "personal space" if he was spinning a stick in such a way that they could be hit by it if they were too close. There was yet another reason, a little less obvious, but served as a subtle reminder of the officer’s skills with said stick, making some think twice before confronting the officer. We have to remember that simply tucking the stick under the arm while talking to a suspect served as a deterrent on their part to want to lash out at an officer, add to this seeing an officer spin the stick around his back, across his side, and back and forth around his body, and one might think twice about challenging said officer.  A good officer can spin a stick like a martial arts student spins nunchucks, and few people want to go up against someone that has mastered a weapon of this type.

In 1994, Thomas C. Frazier took over as Baltimore's police commissioner and banned the Espantoon. Frazier, a Californian, believed that the device, and the policemen's twirling of it, was intimidating to the civilian populace. He attempted to replace it with another weapon, the koga. Many officers, however, felt that the koga was cumbersome, difficult to master, and even more dangerous than the Espantoon.

In 2000, Edward T. Norris assumed the office of police commissioner and lifted the ban on the Espantoon, although he did not mandate its use. The move was made as part of a general effort to boost morale and instill a more aggressive approach to policing in Baltimore. Norris stated, "When I found out what they meant to the rank and file, I said, 'Bring them back.' ... It is a tremendous part of the history of this Police Department."


1950
1950's Russian


An Espantoon War Story
The Officer says, "One night I walked in on a bar fight when a 300 lb. drunken country boy broke a bottle over a counter and came charging in my direction. Being the local street cop I couldn't run if I wanted to, first it wasn't in my blood, and then I still had to stand tall on my post, so this 250 lbs. cop rammed his stick up under that cowboy pig's belly button. I mean I gave him all I had, and in return he gave me 6 beers, a pizza, bar nuts, and what could have been pretzels. All of it was down the front of my uniform; my Sergeant came over after I had thrown my coat in the nearest dumpster. Sarg pulled my coat from the dumpster, scrapped the pizza off, handed it back to me and told me the dry cleaner has cleaned up much worse. My back-up arrived and we all went back into the bar, when we came out they all said, we will never fuck with the police again! I called an ambulance to make sure everyone was ok... most of the people in that bar were people I said hi, or talked with every day! My stick saved the day that day, and many other days during my 38 year career with the Police Department.

This story reminded me of an incident I was involved in when I was a rookie officer, we had a call to meet the fire department for a forced entry, someone left a pot cooking on a stove, fell asleep and smoked up an apartment building. When the Fire department forced the front door they found a young man inside wearing camo fatigues, standing in a karate stance threatening anyone who might enter... My partner at the time had about 8 years on, he and others in the squad used to call me a 6 month veteran, I learned by watching, and I learned fast because I had so many talented police in my squad. In this case I knew what was coming, we both arrived at the same time, made our way up into the hallway where the firemen directed us to look into the apartment by simply pointing. As we did, we saw the suspect taking different Kata stances, threatening us in an attempt to keep us out. Without a word all that could be heard were the sounds of two nightsticks being drawn from their rings – 20 to 22 inches of African Redwood clearing the ring was like the sound of two samurai swords being drawn from their scabbards. With that we both entered the room, kicking the door closed behind us, now all we could hear were the oohs and awws of the firefighters in the hall. The suspect first hearing the Espantoons as they were drawn, the door being kicked closed, and the almost chanting sound of the firefighter’s oohs and awws forced him to quickly come to his senses, and give up. Within seconds of that door closing, he made the smartest decision that he could have. Without a word, (and it should be said, not a word was said from the time we arrived) he turned around, and slowly put his hands behind his back. He was cuffed for his safety, our safety, and the safety of the firefighters. They came in turned off the stove, and took one over cooked broiling pan of “Oodles of Noodles” out to the gutter to cool off. They came back in opened some windows to clear the building, and that was that.
Sometimes just the threat of seeing a couple guys that know how to use a weapon, is all it takes, and in this case two guys drawing their Espantoons in unison convinced that black belt, it was time to “Tap Out”.

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arvidrf


1930's Detroit Police Officers Baton number 1503 

The son of a Detroit Police Officer from the late 1930's, 40's 50's and 60's says in the 30s and 40s his dad walked the beat on some of the toughest streets in Detroit. This hardwood Baton is 22" long and as an Official Detroit Police Officer's Baton number 1503, it shows wear, and the above pics show in great detail how well this stick stood it's ground between the officers saftey, and his being injured by the criminal element of 40 years of crime fighting; 10 to 15 of those being on a foot beat in Detroit's bad lands. God bless him and thank him for his service. If we take a close look this stick is turned vary "similar" to Baltimore's Espantoon of the same time period.

BALTIMORE POLICE ESPANTOON BLUE PRINTS 72

Billy Club

Billy Clubs
The Billy club (also referred to as a truncheon or baton) is a short stick used defensively as a bludgeoning weapon, typically by law enforcement. Billy clubs can be manufactured using wood, plastic, or steel. They are easily concealable, usually less than an arm's length in size, and specifically designed to be used as a non-lethal means of subduing an attacker or a non-compliant person.
 
History
British constables in the early to mid-nineteenth century carried wooden truncheons which quickly received the name "Billy clubs" (or "bully clubs"). At that time, the truncheon was also a means of identification for a legitimate law enforcement officer, similar to the way a badge is used today. Every baton had the authoritative organization's coat of arms emblazoned on its side, for presentation to the individual being approached or apprehended. The Billy club was such a simple and efficient tool, British officers continued to carry the traditional wooden version without major modifications up to the 1990s.
 
Etymology
Some debate surrounds the origin of the name. Most accounts attribute the "Billy" club to a variation of the slang use of "bully" when referring to a London police officer in the Victorian era. Other accounts hold that the early London constables were called "Billie’s" as they served as the law enforcement officers for King William IV, also known as "Old Bill." Therefore, any club they carried might reasonably be referred to as a "Billy club." The Billy club, while having been renamed and reinvented many times throughout the last few centuries, is still a standard part of the modern-day police officer's arsenal.

maryland flag line6


2  11 April 1972 thomas orrin  On the down-tube the office has his Espantoon 72Courtesy Baltimore Sun Paper
Notice the Espantoon / Nightstick on the down tube of the bike


Espantoon
October 31, 2008

There has been great response to my postings and those of the Baltimore Sun's Copy Desk Chief John E. McIntyre on old police terms, clichés and the differences in cop lingo between Baltimore and New York. One reader reminded me of a New York term I had all but forgotten: "On the job." Several readers have commented on the Espantoon -- defined in Webster's Third Edition: "In Baltimore, a policeman's stick" -- and one asked for a picture of one. Here are a couple by Sun photographer Amy Davis shot back in 2000 when then Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris reversed a ban and allowed officers to once again carry the sticks. Tradition returned. Here is "Nightstick Joe" making an Espantoon in the basement of his Federal Hill row house in 2000, and another of him outside with the stick. What follows is the complete story published on Sept. 23, 2000 that I wrote on the return of the Espantoon. I've been warned against posting long takes from old stories, but so many want to know the history I think some of you might be interested:
By Peter Hermann


nightsticks 72

My Nightstick Collection in the early stages, you can see all the different "Barrel Head" designs from "Grenade Grip", to "Ring Grip" and while you can't see it too well, the tallest stick, a Riot or Mounted Stick, it has what is known as a "Finger Grip". These grip styles have evolved over the years, with the "Ring Grip" being the most common in American Espantoon/Nightstick's Billy Club/Baton and the "Fluted Grip" most common combined with the ""Ring Grip" to give us that "Grenade Grip"

Grip designs
We have examples, the "Fingerlock Grip" Batons most often found on the Truncheons below. So while it is hard to make out in this drawing, you can find a photo below. I hope this helpful, or at the very least entertaining, these grips are often mixed, or made in
variants so that officers could have something unique, or fancy for Award, or Presentation Batons. And while the Grenade Grip is most often found on the PR-24 and other Polycarb sticks from Monadnock's line up, the Fluted and Ring mix can be found in older Wooden sticks, but they rarely crossed the two cuts.

My Stick NightStick Joe circa 1987 Nomenclature
Here are the parts of an Espantoon/Nightstick

 

1. The Leather Thong/Strap used to help retain the stick, also used to help officers spin the stick. Spinning the stick has multiple purposes, one it helps entertain them during long boring night shifts, but it also keep people out of their personal space, and some say, seeing how well the officer could spin the stick made them think twice about confronting the officer in a way that might force him to use his stick in self-defense. It demonstrated the officer ability to handle the stick.
2. The Handle end, most people think the stick is held at the other end, but the stick is actually held on the shaft end of the stick, with the Thong stretched out and looped around one or two fingers.
3. The Shaft, this is the long straight end opposite the Barrel Head, This also helps distinguish a Espantoon/Nightstick from other types of baton, as the shaft of a Espantoon is straight whereas Billy clubs it would taper out as it gets closer to the end.
4. The Ring Stop, this has two purposes, one it helps prevent the stick from going all the way through the nightstick ring/holder, it also serves as part of the Thong Groove/Slot helping to keep the Strap from moving up or down on the stick.
5. The Thong Groove Slot, this is where the leather thong/strap is woven onto the stick, to allow the officer a way of retaining the stick. It has also been used to spin the stick, for first aid, and to help pull people out of the harbor.
6. The Barrel Head, this end often mistaken for the nightstick's handle, is actually the striking end of the stick. When used to jab, or strike this can be more effective, taking less swings, with less force causing less injury. It also helps when using the stick for arm bars, and other holds as it gives a good grip that can be harder for a suspect to break free from.
By the way, in case you didn’t see else ware on this page/site, today we carry only nightsticks, in the 1700’s and up into the early 1900’s they carried different sticks at night then they did during the day. As a nightstick had more uses, signaling officers on different posts they used a longer stick at night, to not look as threatening during the day the officers carried a less obvious stick, it was the same in every way as the nighttime version except the shaft was about one ¼ to ½ its size shorter. These sticks, booth night and day version are not just used for striking, they are also used for jabbing, prying, applying pressure to pressure points; these methods can be quite effective, often more effective than striking. In the photo below you'll see a Daystick #11 with a Nightstick #10 and #12 next to it, showing the shaft in its different styles.


 


numbered stucks 72
My Collection Numbered
1. A Strait Stick 2. A Riot, or Mounted Stick 3. One of Nightstick Joe's Sticks 4. An Elite Espantoon's Stick 5. A Baltimore Stick 6. A Billy Club gift from my son, and Daughter-in-law, late 1790's early 1800's 7. Gift from my Nephew 8. My BPD Issued Stick Un-stained 9. A Gift from my wife 10. A NYPD Nightstick - notice no strap ridge 11. A mid to late 1800's Day Stick 12. Ret. K9 Officer, Robert "RAM" Miller's Nightstick Joe stick 13. My Old stick I turned it in the early 90's 14. A friend of the Family's Nightstick, She was a Security Guard down Sparrow's Point in the 1970's 
 img172-72Joseph "Nightstick Joe" Hlafka Espantoon
Joe72
Joseph "Nightstick Joe" Hlafka Espantoon

We'll be putting together a great story on Nightstick Joe, his Nightsticks and how he could be part of the reason mpst police started using the word Nightstick instead of the word Espantoon, as used by older officers... After all he is known as "Nightstick Joe" not "Espantoon Joe" LOL - more to come

Police get rid of an old weapon Baton training aims to supplant use of traditional nightstick

August 11, 1996|By PETER HERMANN | PETER HERMANN,SUN STAFF

Bidding farewell to the fabled espantoon, Baltimore police are wielding a new nightstick on city streets and practicing new ways of confronting unruly citizens. The California-based Koga Institute is teaching officers procedures for searching, subduing and arresting people. They are based on martial arts, and the police chief hopes these techniques win minimize injuries to officers and citizens. Officers also are learning several maneuvers with the new stick -- called a baton -- which is replacing the espantoon, a nightstick used since the turn of the century. Although officers seem to like the training, the program got off to a rocky start. Some police commanders have been reluctant to change, and instructors privately have complained that some district sergeants and lieutenants have tried to steer officers away from becoming Koga trainers. Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, over the institute's objections, decided to limit how officers use one baton maneuver -- a two-handed jab to the chest -- because he is concerned someone could be killed. Robert K. Koga, a former Los Angeles police officer, founded the institute in 1973. The self-defense techniques he teaches are based on Aikido, a combination of Greco-Roman wrestling and jujitsu. While the baton may be the most noticeable addition to the police force, officers are learning a wide range of Koga defense techniques. "The Koga Method is a , complete system, capable of providing an officer with an the tools needed to not only safely control a suspect, but control the officer as well," company brochures say. Frazier concluded more training was needed soon after he arrived in Baltimore in 1994 and spent several nights on the street, watching his officers make arrests. "What I saw frightened me," he said. Standard techniques were lacking, he said, putting suspects and officers in danger. Then there was the famed espantoon. Frazier thought the time-honored tradition of twirling the stick was intimidating to citizens, and he worried about injuries of people hit by the stick. "There was never any formal espantoon training," said Lt. Gerard G. DeManss, a 25-year veteran who heads the Koga training program in the department. "The department gave you something and didn't tell you how to use it." So far, 500 officers have been trained in the new techniques and given the new baton, which is 29 inches long and has no handle. The espantoon is shorter and thicker and has a grooved handle and strap. Instructors estimate it will take up to five years for all 3,100 department members to complete the program, which has cost the city $118,000 in the past two years.

Tralfagar square
Truncheon
Reg wooden truncheon

Truncheon Courtesy Basil Wilson
IMG 0671
Truncheons Courtesy Basil Wilsontruncheon in a bin at the receivers store
Truncheons Courtesy Basil Wilson
blue lamp patrol dress 1949
Courtesy Basil Wilson
trun
Courtesy Basil Wilson
trun2
Courtesy Basil Wilson


Emphasis on Technique

This month, about two dozen police officers completed their last day of Koga training on the fifth floor of the old Signet Bank building on Guilford Avenue. Lining up on blue wrestling mats, they practiced how to arrest and search suspects, including having them lie face down on the ground to be handcuffed -- a departure from making suspects line up against a wall. The idea is to keep the suspect off balance, giving the officer leverage in case the prisoner tries to escape. The instructors emphasized the importance of technique. For example, when searching a suspect for a weapon, seven areas are checked, starting with the waistband, the most common hiding place. "If you start jumping around, you will miss something," Sgt. Ronald Fleming told the group. "You will miss the gun." The officers also went through a series of baton maneuvers, and instructors stressed that the blows are defensive. "It is not used as an offensive tool," DeManss said. Baltimore police do not teach two Koga maneuvers-a controversial choke hold that cuts off the blood supply to the brain and a practice of having officers approach suspects with guns in hand. DeManss teaches the controversial two-handed jab to the chest, but tells officers to use it only when they can justify deadly force. In other words, the jab is in the same category as the firearm. Koga argues that the jab can safely be used more liberally because it is not a deadly maneuver. But DeManss says "controlling force" manual is inconsistent with how is should be used. While it recommends against striking near the heart, diagrams clearly show officers striking a suspect's midsection. Making a distinction during a fight is next to impossible, DeManss said. The FBI "Defense Tactics Manual" lists "unacceptable target areas" for a baton, including any area near an internal organ, such as the cardiopulmonary and digestive systems. DeManss said Koga may be able to defend the jab in court, but he doesn't want to take the chance. "I can't find a doctor to sign off on this. It is taught [in Baltimore] as deadly force. Bob's totally against it. He said we just ruined the whole [program]." Adding to concerns, a law review article this spring by a University of Baltimore law student Brian L. DeLeonardo, warned that allowing officers wide latitude in using the jab would make the city vulnerable to civil liability. "A misclassification of a baton strike to the chest as nondeadly force provides ample ground for a jury to conclude that such a decision reflects a deliberate indifference to the citizens of Baltimore City," he wrote. After DeManss raised concerns, the commissioner agreed and ordered instructors to tell officers 'that this may be a fatal blow. You can't say go ahead and do a two-handed strike to the chest and not worry it can't be fatal, because it can." Maneuver defended But Koga strongly defends the baton strike. In a May 28 letter to Frazier, a copy of which was obtained by the Sun, he argues that in order to classify the blow as deadly force, it must be "likely to B] cause death.... In over 40 years of police work and police training, I have yet to hear of a fatality experienced due to blunt trauma to the chest by the baton." Koga also noted resistance 3 within the city Police Department to his program and criticized the way Baltimore is teaching it. "I have become aware that some students are afraid of retribution from some command staff who do not want this method,, which seems to be carried on through the lower supervisory ranks," he wrote. "It has been expressed to me that if an instructor voices positive comments in support of the program, they are essentially committing political suicide." Koga wrote that in some cases, lieutenants have "corrected" officers -- on the street who are using his techniques, reverting to the is old ways. "There appears to be no accountability to insure compliance with the policies of the commissioner's office," the letter says. DeManss said that "supervisors are avoiding this like the plague. Frazier is going to have to s3 put his foot down." Frazier said he not heard any complaints from the officers who have completed the program, but he acknowledged initial resistance. And he said there is a "lack of understanding on the part of the command staff," leading to some confusion on the street when ) sergeants and lieutenants see their officers handle suspects in what seem unusual ways. "It's different," Frazier said. "We're taking away the espantoon. The batons are longer and lighter and thinner. You can't spin them. All those are issues of tradition. It's just a process of change that we have to work through." Pub Date: 8/11/96

 


Police Advances render iron claw obsolete

The Sun (1837-1987); Jun 17, 1978;
pg. B20
The iron claw, just like the guillotine, machine gun, shock baton and Billy knife, has outlived its usefulness and has become a dying piece of optional police equipment – unless you happen to be one of the “old veterans.”
“We progressed beyond the iron claw,” the president of the local firm to distribute police equipment said recently. “It’s a punishment type of equipment. If anything, it was detrimental to law enforcement.”
Robert V. Wantz, president of Maryland police supply, Inc., Said his firm stop supplying the iron claw the law enforcement officers about three years ago after the demand had decreased substantially.
“No question they can still be bought.” Mr. Wantz said.
The iron claw is a single handcuff that can be snapped on to a person’s wrists and controlled by a T-shaped handle. Once secured to the rest it is “crank” to remove any slack. After that, any sudden voluntary or involuntary movement can cause considerable pain or even a broken wrist.
Dennis S. Hill, a police spokesman, said officers are allowed to use the device if they purchase one with their own funds. Salesman for another local supplier of police equipment, who preferred to remain anonymous because of the "adverse publicity the claw draws,” said the item retails for about $30. “We probably sell about three in a six month period. It takes a special skill to use it properly. It’s quite a vicious device… And instrument of persuasion,” he added. “Most people are afraid of it. I had one cop who claimed to use it to break a man’s jaw.” However, Millard S. Rubenstein, the Police Department’s legal advisor, said he could not recall a single serious case were departmental charges resulted from improper use of the iron claw.
Police agent Michael D. Bass, another police spokesman, said he had seen very few of the Aren’t clause during his six years on the force and cannot himself recall it’s being used in making an arrest. “I would say the radio [walkie-talkie] and radio cars caused the demise of the claw,” agent Beth said. “Most of the guys who will carry it now would be old-timers.”
He said the claws were most useful when there were many foot post in the city and no immediate method of summons and either backup help or a patrol wagon.
“You had to go to a call box to call for a wagon [after making an arrest].” Agent Bass said, “they [prisoners] would go digging and scratching all the way.” He said that by cranking the device it could easily be used to “secure a prisoner.”
But now he said, the call is mostly a thing of the past, unless you happen to run into one of the older veterans on the force. “It’s just a conversation piece now,” he added.
Mr. Wantz said the manufacturers of police equipment have not developed many new items in recent years and the most popular piece of equipment now seems to be a heavy aluminum flashlight that can be used as a nightstick.
It can be purchased by law enforcement officers for about $18-$28 he said.

 

Officer Custom-Makes Nightsticks BALTIMORE CITY
[FINAL Edition]
The Sun - Baltimore, Md.
Author:    Hilson, Robert, Jr
Date:    Apr 9, 1993
Start Page:    4.BSection:    METRO
Document Text
In his first week with the Baltimore Police Department 24 years ago, Officer Joseph Hlafka broke five nightsticks while on duty.
"Four times I was protecting myself from people who refused to leave a corner," Officer Hlafka recently recalled.
The fifth nightstick fell from his hand and broke apart.
"So I started to make my own, and I got good at it, real good," Officer Hlafka said. "Mine don't break easily like some of the other ones."
In making the nightsticks, he uses woodworking skills he learned in the Police Boys Clubs, and stronger wood. His colleagues liked his first models and asked him to make theirs.
Since then, Officer Hlafka, known as "Nightstick Joe," has made thousands of nightsticks for fellow officers.
"I realized that I would get hurt if I continued to use their {the police department's} equipment," he said. "I just make a better nightstick. Once I made them, they started going like a house on fire."
The nightsticks that Officer Hlafka, 55, makes in the crowded basement workshop of his south Baltimore rowhouse are requested by police officers in Baltimore and other cities, and in Canada and France.
"They hear about me and get in touch with me and before too long, I can make them a good nightstick," Officer Hlafka said.
More than a dozen nightsticks sway from the ceiling of his workshop, waiting to be claimed by officers. Some officers have requested terms such as "Nighty Night," "Ouch," "The Man," "Bye Bye" and "Kiss Me" to be engraved on their nightsticks.
Several department-issue nightsticks are also in Officer Hlafka's basement. "This is a piece of junk," he says, grabbing one of the nightsticks that is lighter in weight than his. "I could snap it in a heartbeat."
Pine nightsticks, 21 1/2-inches long, are issued to every trainee in the Baltimore Police Depatment Education and Training Division for use for self-defense and crowd control. City officers use only wooden nightsticks, which inflict less physical damage than the plastic nightsticks used by some other police departments.
Officer Hlafka uses strong bubinga wood from Brazil and South Africa, meticulously rounding each nightstick on a lathe. Then he sands the weapon -- 24 inches long and 2 inches in diameter -- until it is smooth.
It takes him about two hours to make a nightstick, a knocker in police parlance, and he charges $30 for it. He earns about $5 profit on each nightstick.
Sgt. Thomas Maly, who works in the education and training division, said it's somewhat of a tradition for new officers to buy nightsticks from Nightstick Joe.
"A lot of them seem to like his nightsticks," Sergeant Maly said. "They conform to the same standards but have a different finish. They're more perfect."
Officer Hlafka said he never imagined the popularity of his nightsticks.
"But I've done pretty well over the years and I guess the nightsticks have, too," he said. "I make it to last because it should last, and I make them any way that they want to have them made. I think that I've known every officer on the {city} force for the last 20 years."
A foot patrolman assigned to the tactical section at the Inner Harbor, he works an eight-hour night shift, then puts in four to six hours making the "Hlafka model" nightsticks.
When he's in his workshop, he and his wife communicate via an intercom system.
"The only thing that changes on each nightstick is the head. The rest of it is the same. People have different grips," he said. "When an officer grabs a piece of wood, it's got to feel comfortable."
Officer Hlafka said he's used two nightsticks since he began making them. "The first one I made, I had for almost 10 years until it got stolen. The one I have now I've had for 15 years," he said.
Capt. Michael Bass, of the Northern District, said Officer Hlafka is somewhat legendary because of his nightsticks.
"You mention his name and everybody says, `Oh yeah, I know him,' " Captain Bass said.
He said when he was assigned to the police academy, Officer Hlafka would meet with most trainees, show them his nightsticks and take their orders.
"And then a couple of weeks later, he'll pull up and pass them out," Captain Bass said.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Better Training in use of Force Urged for Police
[FINAL Edition]
The Sun - Baltimore, Md.
Author:    Hermann, Peter
Date:    Nov 5, 1994
Start Page:    1.B
Section:    METRO
Document Text
The Baltimore Police Department needs to better train its officers in the use of force against suspects and should ban two types of long-used, but unsanctioned, weapons, a consultant has concluded.
A report, which was released in summary form yesterday, urges the department to adopt a comprehensive policy on the use of force that would consolidate a series of disjointed memos and training guidelines.
"To an outside observer, our efforts in {training} would certainly appear to be fragmented and sporadic, at best," Col. Joseph R. Bolesta, chief of the Human Resources Bureau, wrote in a memo responding to the report.
"I'm not surprised by what they found," said Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier.
The report also called for standardized nightsticks to be issued, instead of officers being allowed to buy their own, and for a ban on weapons such as blackjacks -- small leather pouches filled with lead pellets or a steel plate.
Mr. Frazier asked for the review in August after West Baltimore resident Jesse Chapman was found dead in the back of a police van after his arrest. Witnesses said officers beat the 30-year-old man, an allegation not supported by a grand jury review.
The founder of the institute that prepared the report, Robert K. Koga -- who has known the commissioner since his days in San Jose, Calif. -- and an aide spent 2 1/2 days in Baltimore, at a cost of about $3,000, and are still poring over manuals as they evaluate the department.
Mr. Koga founded the training and consultant center in the early 1980s after he retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. It has worked with numerous police agencies nationwide, including those in Denver, San Jose and Dallas and with the U.S. Secret Service.
The Baltimore department declined to release the full report, saying it contained sensitive tactical information, but made public Colonel Bolesta's memo outlining the institute's findings and his responses.
William Pelkey, executive director of the Koga Institute, said developing a standard policy on the use of force is essential to ensure a safe department that can be trusted by citizens.
"Written policies drive police departments and establish parameters in which officers function," he said. "Everything pertaining to use of force should be together. You should look in one place and find the philosophy and the practice. When you don't have those together, you might have contradictions."
The main problem in Baltimore, Mr. Pelkey said, is that department rules are "so fragmented that officers have no clue on what is authorized or not."
Some recommendations by the institute may not be implemented.
For example, the report calls for monthly firearms training for each officer, something Colonel Bolesta said is impractical because of a lack of money and training space.
Officer Gary McLhinney, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he supports the institute's finding in regards to training. Until last year, he said, officers only fired their weapons once a year on a practice range. Now, they train twice a year.
"That's inadequate," Officer McLhinney said. "The fact they recognize there is a problem with training is a step in the right direction."
Officer McLhinney would not comment on the recommendations to ban certain equipment.
Mr. Frazier said he became concerned after the Chapman incident, which is still under internal review, when he learned an officer may have hit Mr. Chapman in the back with a blackjack.
He said there is a "consensus of the command staff that slapjacks and blackjacks are inappropriate law enforcement tools." They most likely will be banned, Mr. Frazier said.
Colonel Bolesta agreed.
"We've never trained anyone to carry that equipment," he said. "That concerned us. . . . We don't issue them. But there is tacit approval for that kind of thing."
The institute also recommends that the department replace the "espantoon," a 22-inch nightstick with a knurled end, with a 29-inch straight baton.
Mr. Pelkey said the longer stick is safer for officers involved in a close struggle with a suspect and its smooth surface avoids unnecessary injuries to people being hit.
Also on the way out could be the leather handle on the end of the nightstick, used by officers to twirl their batons. The sight of officers walking down the street swinging the stick can be unsettling to residents, some commanders feel.
"The thong serves no useful purpose other than decorative and should not be considered as an addition to any future impact weapon adopted by the department," Colonel Bolesta wrote in his memo.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Police Get Rid of an Old Weapon Baton Training Aims to Supplant use of Traditional Nightstick
August 11, 1996|By PETER HERMANN | PETER HERMANN,SUN STAFF
Bidding farewell to the fabled espantoon, Baltimore police are wielding a new nightstick on city streets and practicing new ways of confronting unruly citizens.
The California-based Koga Institute is teaching officers procedures for searching, subduing and arresting people. They are based on martial arts, and the police chief hopes these techniques win minimize injuries to officers and citizens.http://articles.baltimoresun.com/images/pixel.gif
Officers also are learning several maneuvers with the new stick -- balled a baton -- which is replacing the espantoon, a nightstick used since the turn of the century.
Although officers seem to like the training, the program got off to a rocky start. Some police commanders have been reluctant to change, and instructors privately have complained that some district sergeants and lieutenants have tried to steer officers away from becoming Koga trainers.
Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, over the institute's objections, decided to limit how officers use one baton maneuver -- a two-handed jab to the chest -- because he is concerned someone could be killed.
Robert K. Koga, a former Los Angeles police officer, founded the institute in 1973. The self-defense techniques he teaches are based on Aikido, a combination of Greco-Roman wrestling and jujitsu.
While the baton may be the most noticeable addition to the police force, officers are learning a wide range of Koga defense techniques.
"The Koga Method is a , complete system, capable of providing an officer with an the tools needed to not only safely control a suspect, but control the officer as well," company brochures say.
Frazier concluded more training was needed soon after he arrived in Baltimore in 1994 and spent several nights on the street, watching his officers make arrests. "What I saw frightened me," he said. Standard techniques were lacking, he said, putting suspects and officers in danger.
Then there was the famed espantoon. Frazier thought the time-honored tradition of twirling the stick was intimidating to citizens, and he worried about injuries of people hit by the stick.
"There was never any formal espantoon training," said Lt. Gerard G. DeManss, a 25-year veteran who heads the Koga training program in the department. "The department gave you something and didn't tell you how to use it."
So far, 500 officers have been trained in the new techniques and given the new baton, which is 29 inches long and has no handle. The espantoon is shorter and thicker and has a grooved handle and strap.
Instructors estimate it will take up to five years for all 3,100 department members to complete the program, which has cost the city $118,000 in the past two years.
Emphasis on technique
This month, about two dozen police officers completed their last day of Koga training on the fifth floor of the old Signet Bank building on Guilford Avenue. Lining up on blue wrestling mats, they practiced how to arrest and search suspects, including having them lie face down on the ground to be handcuffed -- a departure from making suspects line up against a wall. The idea is to keep the suspect off balance, giving the officer leverage in case the prisoner tries to escape.
The instructors emphasized the importance of technique.
For example, when searching a suspect for a weapon, seven areas are checked, starting with the waistband, the most common hiding place. "If you start jumping around, you will miss something," Sgt. Ronald Fleming told the group. "You will miss the gun."
The officers also went through a series of baton maneuvers, and instructors stressed that the blows are defensive. "It is not used as an offensive tool," DeManss said.
Baltimore police do not teach two Koga maneuvers-a controversial choke hold that cuts off the blood supply to the brain and a practice of having officers approach suspects with guns in hand.
DeManss teaches the controversial two-handed jab to the chest, but tells officers to use it only when they can justify deadly force. In other words, the jab is in the same category as the firearm.
Koga argues that the jab can safely be used more liberally because it is not a deadly maneuver.
But DeManss says "controlling force" manual is inconsistent with how is should be used.
While it recommends against striking near the heart, diagrams clearly show officers striking a suspect's midsection. Making a distinction during a fight is next to impossible, DeManss said.
The FBI "Defense Tactics Manual" lists "unacceptable target areas" for a baton, including any area near an internal organ, such as the cardiopulmonary and digestive systems.
DeManss said Koga may be able to defend the jab in court, but he doesn't want to take the chance. "I can't find a doctor to sign off on this. It is taught [in Baltimore] as deadly force. Bob's totally against it. He said we just ruined the whole [program]."
Adding to concerns, a law review article this spring by a University of Baltimore law student Brian L. DeLeonardo, warned that allowing officers wide latitude in using the jab would make the city vulnerable to civil liability.
"A misclassification of a baton strike to the chest as nondeadly force provides ample ground for a jury to conclude that such a decision reflects a deliberate indifference to the citizens of Baltimore City," he wrote.

After DeManss raised concerns, the commissioner agreed and ordered instructors to tell officers 'that this may be a fatal blow. You can't say go ahead and do a two-handed strike to the chest and not worry it can't be fatal, because it can."
Maneuver defended
But Koga strongly defends the baton strike. In a May 28 letter to Frazier, a copy of which was obtained by the Sun, he argues that in order to classify the blow as deadly force, it must be "likely to B] cause death.... In over 40 years of police work and police training, I have yet to hear of a fatality experienced due to blunt trauma to the chest by the baton."
Koga also noted resistance 3 within the city Police Department to his program and criticized the way Baltimore is teaching it.
"I have become aware that some students are afraid of retribution from some command staff who do not want this method,, which seems to be carried on through the lower supervisory ranks," he wrote. "It has been expressed to me that if an instructor voices positive comments in support of the program, they are essentiaUy committing political suicide."
Koga wrote that in some cases, lieutenants have "corrected" officers -- on the street who are using his techniques, reverting to the is old ways. "There appears to be no accountability to insure compliance with the policies of the commissioner's office," the letter says.
DeManss said that "supervisors are avoiding this like the plague. Frazier is going to have to s3 put his foot down."
Frazier said he not heard any complaints from the officers who have completed the program, but he acknowledged initial resistance.
And he said there is a "lack of understanding on the part of the command staff," leading to some confusion on the street when )) sergeants and lieutenants see their officers handle suspects in what seem unusual ways.
"It's different," Frazier said. "We're taking away the espantoon. The batons are longer and lighter and thinner. You can't spin them. All those are issues of tradition. It's just a process of change that we have to work through."
Pub Date: 8/11/96

The Espantoon (is back thanks to Ed Norris)
October 31, 2008
There has been great response to my postings and those of the Baltimore Sun's Copy Desk Chief John E. McIntyre on old police terms, cliches and the differences in cop lingo between Baltimore and New York.
One reader reminded me of a New York term I had all but forgotten: "On the job."
Several readers have commented on the Espantoon -- defined in Webster's Third Edition: "In Baltimore, a policeman's stick" -- and one asked for a picture of one. Here are a couple by Sun photographer Amy Davis shot back in 2000 when then Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris reversed a ban and allowed officers to once again carry the sticks. Tradition returned.
Here is "Nightstick Joe" making an Espantoon in the basement of his Federal Hill rowhouse in 2000, and another of him outside with the stick.
What follows is the complete story published on Sept. 23, 2000 that I wrote on the return of the Espantoon. I've been warned against posting long takes from old stories, but so many want to know the history I think some of you might be interested:
By Peter Hermann

Nightstick Joe is Back in Business.
To the delight of tradition-minded Baltimore police officers, the city's new commissioner agreed yesterday to allow his troops to carry the once-banned espantoon, a wooden nightstick with an ornately tooled handle and a long leather strap for twirling.
Joseph Hlafka, who retired last year after three decades as an officer on the force and is best known by his nickname earned for turning out the sticks on his basement lathe, will once again see his handiwork being used by officers patrolling city streets.
Orders for the $30 sticks are coming in. A local police supply store has ordered three dozen to boost its stock. Commissioner Edward T. Norris bought five. Young officers who have never seen one are calling with questions.
"They want to know how to twirl it," Hlafka said.
Before Norris arrived from New York in January, he had never heard of an "espantoon." He knew the generic "baton," "nightstick" and "billy club," and was well acquainted with New York's technical "PR-24."
He challenged his command staff to prove the term belongs solely to Mobtown. And there, in Webster's Third Edition: "Espantoon, Baltimore, a policeman's club."
Norris signed the order yesterday, and the espantoon once again became a sanctioned, but optional, piece of police equipment.
"When I found out what they meant to the rank and file, I said, `Bring them back,'" said Norris, who is trying to boost morale. "It is a tremendous part of the history of this Police Department."
Hlafka is delighted. When the sticks were barred in 1994 by a commissioner who didn't like them, his production dropped from about 70 a month to 30, with most of them going to officers in departments across the country and collectors.
They are now made from blocks of Bubinga, a hardwood imported from South Africa that doesn't get brittle in cold weather. Hlafka whittles and sands the wood to remove visible blemishes on the sticks, which measure from 22 inches to 25 inches long.
It is art with a purpose. The espantoon recalls the bygone times of Baltimore law enforcement, when running afoul of an officer meant trouble. It fits in with the city's new assertive policing strategy of a new department leader who wants "police to be the police again."
It is just what Hlafka, 62, wants to hear. "No one sold drugs on my post," he said while standing outside his William Street rowhouse, twirling an espantoon he had just finished. "They knew they would have to answer to me."
Former Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier banned espantoons in 1994, saying that they weren't all the same length and weight and that an officer twirling the stick was too intimidating to the citizenry.
In one order, the Californian uprooted decades of Baltimore police history. Espantoons - the word is derived from "spontoon," a weapon carried by members of a Roman legion - were first issued to nightshift officers before the age of radio communication.
Officers used the sticks to bang on sidewalks or drainpipes to call for help. Twirling the stick became an art. "Telling a policeman not to swing his espantoon would be like asking a happy man not to whistle," The Sun said in a 1947 article.
To replace the espantoons, Frazier issued long batons, called Koga sticks, which many officers refused to carry because they were cumbersome. It required hours of training in martial arts self-defense tactics, and some argued that the Koga stick was more dangerous than the espantoon.
Sergeants were reluctant to send officers to Koga classes, and a trainer argued that some of the tactics being taught could be lethal on the street.
Capt. Michael Andrew was among a handful of high-ranking officers who never took Koga training. He still has the espantoon his father gave him when he graduated from the police academy in 1973.
His father, George Andrew, bought the espantoon from a West Baltimore Street shop when he joined the city force in 1940. The nightstick has been used ever since, "with the exception of five years when Frazier banned it, and we had to put it in mothballs," the younger Andrew said.
In the old days, the espantoon was required equipment. "You better not have got caught without that stick under your arm," he said. "If you ever left it in your car, you'd get yelled at by your sergeant."
The Andrews' espantoon started at the Eastern District, where his father began his career at the old stationhouse at East Fayette and North Caroline streets, and then moved with him to a foot patrol on Pennsylvania Avenue, in the Western.
The nightstick is now in the hands of his son, and back on the city's east side. The 49-year-old captain addressed a group of younger officers assigned to flood the crime-troubled Eastern, and held up the espantoon as an invaluable tool for their jobs.
He and other officers say that it can be used to stop threats without resorting to a gun.
The elder Andrew, who retired as a lieutenant in 1974, recalled arresting a drunken blacksmith on East Fayette Street who had grabbed his legs. "I tapped him with the stick," the 86-year-old said. "He let go."
Police commanders view the nightstick as an important tool that can be used to subdue people without killing them.
"Mace is very effective, and it certainly has done its job," said Deputy Commissioner Bert Shirey, who still has the espantoon he was issued at the academy 34 years ago. "But there are times when Mace doesn't work, and it's nice to have something in between Mace and a gun."
There is no doubt that getting hit with an espantoon hurts, and it can cause serious injury.
Hlafka, who walked a beat at both the Inner Harbor and Lexington Market during his final years on the force, said he has struck many people with an espantoon over the course of his career.
"People used to complain that we would hit them with the stick," Hlfaka said. "But would they rather get hit by a 9 mm bullet? Then, you don't come back."

All content herein is © 2008 The Baltimore Sun and may not be republished without permission  

 

Club
A club (also known as cudgel, baton, truncheon, cosh, nightstick, or bludgeon) is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times.

Most clubs are small enough to be swung in one hand although two-handed variants are known. Various kinds of clubs are used in martial arts and other specialized fields, including the law-enforcement baton. The military mace is a more sophisticated descendant of the club, typically made of metal and featuring a spiked, knobbed or flanged head attached to a shaft.

The wounds inflicted by a club are generally known as bludgeoning or blunt-force trauma injuries.

 

Law Enforcement

Main article: Baton (law enforcement)

Police forces and their predecessors have traditionally favored the use, whenever possible, of less-lethal weapons than guns or blades to impose public order or to subdue and arrest law-violators. Until recent times, when alternatives such as tasers and capsicum spray became available, this category of policing weapon has generally been filled by some form of wooden club variously termed a truncheon, baton, nightstick or lathi. Short, flexible clubs are also often used, especially by plainclothes officers who need to avoid notice. These are known colloquially as blackjacks, saps, or coshes.

Conversely, criminals have been known to arm themselves with an array of homemade or improvised clubs, generally of easily concealable sizes, or which can be explained as being carried for legitimate purposes (such as baseball bats and pool sticks).

In addition, Shaolin monks and members of other religious orders around the world have employed cudgels from time to time as defensive weapons.

 

Types of Batons
Though perhaps the simplest of all weapons as primal as a stick, there are many varieties of club, including: For other types see Baton (law enforcement).

Aklys – The Aklys is a club with an integrated leather thong, used to return it to the hand after snapping it at an opponent. Its origin is unclear.

Ball Club - These clubs were used by the Native Americans. There are two types; the Stone Ball clubs that were used mostly by early Plains, Plateau and Southwest Native Indians and the Wooden Ball clubs that the Huron and Iroquois tribes used. These consisted of a relatively free-moving round headed stone or wood and attached to a wooden handle.

Baseball, Cricket and T-Ball Bats – The baseball bat is often used as an improvised weapon, much like the pickaxe handle. In countries where baseball is not commonly played, baseball bats are often first thought of as weapons (e.g. in Poland, baseball bats or similar are defined as weapons by law, so have been illegal to carry or possess). Tee ball bats are also used in this manner. Their smaller size and lighter weight make the bat easier to handle in one hand than a baseball bat.


Baton

Blackjack: see cosh.

Clava -- a traditional stone hand-club used by Mapuche Indians in Chile, featuring a long flat body. Full name is clava mere okewa. In Spanish, it's known as clava cefalomorfa. It has some ritual importance as a special sign of distinction carried by the tribal chief.

Cosh: Cudgel – A stout stick carried by peasants during the Middle Ages. It functioned as a walking staff and a weapon for both self-defence and wartime. Regiments of Clubmen were raised as late as the English Civil War. The cudgel is also known as the Singlestick.
A weapon made of covered metal similar to a blackjack. See Baton (law enforcement) #Blackjack.

Any of various sorts of blunt instrument such as bludgeon, truncheon or the like)

Crowbar- The crowbar is a commonly used improvised weapon, though some examples are too large to be wielded with a single hand, and therefore should be classified as staves.

Flashlight – Large metal flashlights such as Maglites, can make a very effective improvised club. Though not specifically classified as a weapon, it is often carried for self-defense by security guards, bouncers and civilians, especially in countries where carrying weapons is restricted.

Gunstock War Club – The wooden stocks of firearms introduced during the European colonization of the Americas were reportedly re-used by First Nations as improvised weapons; other sources claim that the club was an indigenous weapon before European contact, and acquired the term "gunstock" from the similarity of its shape. Regardless, the gunstock is an essential part of firearms, but it was stylized as a war club made famous by the American Indians as the Gunstock War Club. Another more modern idea of this kind of war club would be the combat skill of bayonet usage. Even without a knife or blade type attachment, the rifle's body itself is used for Close Quarters Combat (CQC).

Jutte – One of the more distinctive weapons of the samurai police (dōshin) was the Jutte. Basically an iron rod, the Jutte was popular because it could parry the slash of a sword and disarm an assailant without serious injury. Essentially a defensive or restraining weapon, the length of the Jutte requires the user to get extremely close to those being apprehended. A single hook or fork, called a Kagi, on the side near the handle allowed the Jutte to be used for trapping or even breaking the blades of edged weapons, as well as for jabbing and striking. The Kagi could also be used to entangle the clothes or fingers of an opponent. Thus, feudal Japanese police used the jutte to disarm and arrest subjects without serious bloodshed. Eventually, the Jutte also came to be considered a symbol of official status.

Kanabō (nyoibo, konsaibo, tetsubō, ararebo). – Various types of different sized Japanese clubs made of wood and or iron, usually with iron spikes or studs.

Knobkierrie, occasionally spelled knopkierie or knobkerry, is a strong, short wooden club with a heavy rounded knob or head on one end, traditionally used by Southern African ethnic groups including the Zulu, as a weapon in warfare and the chase. The word Knobkierrie derives from the Dutch knop (knob or button), and the Bushman and Hottentot kerrie or kirri (stick); in the Zulu language it was called the iwisa.The weapon is employed at close quarters, or as a missile, and in time of peace may serve as a walking-stick. The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierrie itself serves this function in the crest of the coat of Arms of South Africa.The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.

Kubotan -- a short, thin, lightweight club often used by law enforcement officers, generally to apply pressure against selected points of the body in order to encourage compliance without inflicting injury.

Life Preserver (also hyphenated Life-preserver), a short, often weighted club intended for self-defense. Mentioned in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance and several Sherlock Holmes stories.

Mace – A mace is a metal or wood club with a heavy head on the end, designed to deliver very powerful blows. The head of a mace may also have small studs forged into it. The mace is often confused with the spiked morning star.

Mere – a mere is a type of short, broad-bladed club (patu), usually made from Nephrite jade (Pounamu or greenstone). A mere is one of the traditional, close combat, one-handed weapons of the indigenous Māori, of New Zealand. The designed use of the mere for forward striking thrusts is an unusual characteristic of Maori patu, where in other parts of the world, clubs are generally wielded with an ax-like downward blow.

Nulla-nulla - a short, curved hardwood club, used as a hunting weapon and in tribal in-fighting, by the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Nunchaku (also called nunchucks) -- an Asian weapon consisting of two clubs, connected by a short rope, thong or chain, and usually used with one club in hand and the other swing as a flail.

Oslop - a two-handed, very heavy, often iron-shod, Russian club that was used as the cheapest and the most readily available infantry weapon.

Pick-Axe Handle – Pick-axes were common tools in the United States in the early 20th century, and replacement handles were widely available. In developing countries, where manual labor is still prevalent, it is pervasive. Strong and heavy, they make a formidable club and have often been used as club weapons. Pick-axe handles were handed out by segregationist Lester Maddox to the white patrons of his Pickrick Restaurant to keep that establishment from being "integrated". In the British Army pick-axe handles are, or were officially used as guards' batons. It should be said that these handles were distributed based on reach, and availbilty (Note it was not cost, as it was, there were stock piles of surplus, "Truncheons" that would have cost less than a pick-axe mattocks handle. But they would not have helped win the intended battle)

Rungu – A rungu (Swahili, plural marungu) is a wooden throwing club or baton bearing special symbolism and significance in certain East African tribal cultures. It is especially associated with Maasai morans (male warriors) who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting.

Slapjack – This is a variation of the blackjack. It consists of a longer strap which lets it be used flail-type, and can be used as a club or for trapping techniques as seen in the use of nunchaku and other flexible weapons. The slapjack became illegal for United States police officers to carry in the early 1980s.

Sally rod – A Sally rod is a long, thin wooden stick, generally made from willow (Latin Salix), and used chiefly in the past in Ireland as a disciplinary implement, but also sometimes used like a club (without the fencing-like technique of stick fighting) in fights and brawls. In Japan this type of stick is called the Hanbō meaning half stick, and in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) it is called the Eskrima or escrima stick, often made from Rattan.

Shillelagh – A shillelagh is a wooden club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob on the end that is associated with Ireland in folklore.

Telescopic – Telescopic batons are rigid batons that are capable of collapsing to a shorter length for greater portability and ability to conceal. They are illegal in the United Kingdom and some other countries. In Hungary these weapons are named "viper" ("viper") and though officially illegal, they were reported as being repeatedly used by riot police units.

Tipstaff

Tonfa, also known in slang as a "PR-24" or "Stanky Doodle," a staff of Japanese origin and featuring a second handle mounted perpendicular to the shaft

 
  Currently the Best Place to get an Espantoon is Through
Elite Espantoons

Balt City Police Nightstick-1b-Edit
Departmental Issue Stick with BPD Button Inlaid
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A Hlfaka Stick
Bill Bowden
Bill Bowden
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Barrel Head with strap and swivel

Espantoon Beats Fists
Jul 31, 1903
 

Odd story from 1903 to show how the times have changed, in an article with the headline, “Espantoon Beats Fists” the author writes; Joe Gans a noted colored champion lightweight pugilist of the world, proved no match for patrolman George Streb in a personal encounter at Mullikin and Dallas Street at about 1 o’clock Wednesday night and as a result of the impromptu “meeting” Gans appeared before Justice Rab at the Northeastern Station yesterday with a badly damaged head “It is well," said Officer Streb, “that I did not know he was a fighter, else I should have hit him harder.”
The statements made at the hearing tended to strengthen the accepted theory that the man who gets the first blow scores a decided advantage. Gans was coming along the street along with two other Negroes, it appears and at the corner the party jostled the patrolman. He objected, and told them to move on, but after going a little distance they stopped and looked back. He warned them again and they crossed the street and sat on a doorstep. Streb then followed, and demanded to know if they lived there.
Told to move on they refused, and Gans suddenly; it was alleged, made a pass at Streb. The blow missed him, but knocked off his helmet. (1903 Baltimore Police were wearing Bobby Helmets - this ceased in 1908) 
 Whack: went the club on the pugilist’s head and once again it descended after which Gans was ready for the stationhouse, where the charge of disorderly conduct was lodged against him. 
Gans denied that he had acted in a disorderly manner, and said the officer had struck him without cause. He declared further that he was opposed to, "Negro rowdyism" and believed in policemen doing their duty.
 

“That’s all right about the officer,” remarked Justice Rab: “You see to your own case, and I guess our officer can account for the others.” 

Gans was fined $5 and costs, which he paid and was released.  

Al Herford, his manager, was present at the hearing.

The Following is the History of Joe Gans

Joe Gans (25 November 1874 - 10 August 1910) was born Joseph Gant in Baltimore, Maryland. Gans was rated as the greatest lightweight boxer of all time by boxing historian and Ring Magazine founder, Nat Fleischer and was known as the "Old Master." He fought from 1891 to 1909. He was the first African-American World Boxing Champion, reigning continuously as World Lightweight Champion from 1902 to 1908.


Career

Gans started boxing professionally about 1891 in Baltimore. In 1900, Gans quit with an eye cut in the twelfth round of the world lightweight title bout against champion Frank Erne. In their rematch two years later, Gans knocked Erne out in one round to recapture the lightweight title.

Gans reigned as champion from 1902 to 1908. In an important title defense he defeated the "Durable Dane," Oscar "Battling" Nelson, on a foul in 42 rounds on September 3, 1906 in Goldfield, Nevada by promoter Tex Rickard. When they fought again two years later Gans lost by a knockout. He died in August 1910, of tuberculosis and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore. His monument is maintained by the IBC (International Boxing Commission) and sits just to the left of the main entrance of the cemetery. Gans is generally considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, pound-for-pound.

"I was born in the city of Baltimore in the year 1874, and it might be well to state at this time that my right name is Joseph Gant, not Gans. However, when I became an object of newspaper publicity, some reporter made a mistake and my name appeared as Joe Gans, and as Joe Gans it remained ever since."

This is confirmed by primary sources, such as The Sun (Baltimore, MD) on October 24, 1893 - "Joseph Gant and Buck Myers, colored"; The Sun (Baltimore, MD) on November 28, 1893 - "A six-round sparring match between Wm. Jones and Joseph Gant, colored light-weights", etc. 


Professional honors

Gans had a final professional record of 145 wins with 100 knockouts, 10 losses, 16 draws, 6 no contests and 19 no decisions (Newspaper Decisions: 13-2-4) He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.


Hemingway Connection

Ernest Hemingway utilized Joe Gans as a character in his 1916 short story 'A Matter of Color'. This early story set the stage for Hemingway's famous 1927 parable 'The Killers'.

 


Russ Pomrenke
Russ Pomrenke
Jim Mitchell
Jim Mitchell
Carl Hagen Stick
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Courtesy Kenny Driscoll
Carl Hagen Model Espantoon / Nightstick
Carl Hagen mid to late 60s
Courtesy Kenny Driscoll
Carl Hagen Model Espantoon / Nightstick

The Nightstick
10 Oct 1959
 

"There's a lot of law in the end of a nightstick" is a maxim familiar to policemen everywhere. And most Baltimore officers say they would rather enforce their less important orders with a persuasive nudge from the stick than an arrest any time.

 Although primarily a weapon, the nightstick, Billy, club or to use the term attested as Baltimore's own Webster's New International Dictionary Espantoon is as much a symbol of a police officer's authority as his Badge.

Those who think it merely an ornament with which lo display twirling technique are much mistaken. The drunk who feels its sting through his shoe soles will pass out next time in a less conspicuous place than a gutter and the young punk whose solar plexus recoils from its jab will in the future think again before raising his fist against the officer who says "move along." 

A New York City mayor once praised the nightstick as "far more effective" in police work than "the new scientific ideas." 

Realizing the stick's injury-dealing potential most policemen are reluctant to swing at a man unless he becomes very violent or directly attacks them, preferring instead to poke and prod a recalcitrant customer into submission.  

A blow in a vital area from a nightstick can be deadly, as in the case of Paul Clingenpeel. 23, of the 1300 block West Lombard street, who died on September 6 1959 of head injuries after being struck during an attack on Sgt. John Pumphrey, of the Western district. 

Sgt. Pumphrey won acquittal yesterday in Central District’s Police Court on a charge of striking young Clingenpeel and causing his death.

The Rules and Regulations of the Baltimore City Police Department stipulate that "Espantoons” are to be used only in self-defense, when absolutely necessary.”  

In Maryland, common law rules, rather than statutes, control the question of police liability for excessive force in making arrests. State's attorneys have ruled. Assault charges may be brought against police officers in cases where excessive force is used.  

Periodic complaints of "police brutality" and too enthusiastic use of clubs are heard, but very few cases have resulted in the prosecution of policemen on charges of assaulting citizens they have arrested.  

James M. Hepbron, police commissioner, has cautioned his men against too-free use of their weapons, warning that he will not tolerate use of unreasonable force in making arrests and subduing prisoners. 

The Digest of Laws, issued to each member of the force, states that "an officer should use only such force as is necessary to take a prisoner into custody. However, if he is resisted he may repel force with force, i.e. match force with force, and escalate weapon for weapon, as per escalation of violence. 

The Digest also tells the officer that he must consider the type of crime involved and the nature of the resistance against him in deciding how much force to bring to bear on a person. This does not mean if it is a littering case, the officer has to let the suspect go if he or she resists, because the resisting itself becomes a new crime, and the police will never allow one who resists his arrest to just walk away.  

The simplest and least expensive piece of police equipment. The nightstick is usually made of well-seasoned split hickory or locust. It is 22 to 24 inches long, and an inch and a quarter thick, with a 22 inch rawhide thong or strap secured around the base of the striking barrel.  

Baltimore policemen have the option of carrying the clubs or not on the day shift, at the discretion of their commanders, but must carry them on afternoon and night shifts, as well as strike details and riot squads at all times. 

As much as the nightstick is used as a persuader, it is nearly as often used to help people in distress. The long thong/strap has been used as a tourniquet, to stop people from bleeding to death, and the same thong has served as a lifeline to drunks who have rolled off a pier into the harbors cold waters.  

Admittedly a throwback to that most primitive of man's weapons, the club, the nightstick continues to be one of the most effective items of enforcement equipment, and is to most policemen a companion they always want at hand.


33d332de60d606c2ce526bcb68460a89
Barrel Head
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A Hlfaka Stick
This has a nice Finger Grip cut into the shaft so the officer can get a better grip while swinging that oversized Barrel head.
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Barrel Head
 

Often believed to be the handle or grip end, this is the striking end and in this design we can see a "Ring" cut mixed with a "Fluted" cut. This gives a nice look allowing for easy grip when being used for jabbing. 
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Ball on Barrel End

The ball on the end of this nightstick is useful for pressure points, jabbing, and other take downs that could result in not only saving an officer’s life, but saving the suspects life. Officers have an escalations of weapons, if they use the Espantoon effectively, even if it breaks a suspects bone, it is better than advancing to another weapon and possibly having to shooting the suspect. 

14349418 1M1944 US Navy stick

stick with words solid bg

sticks 21

stick maker1 KSCN0004 smCarl Hagen 1960
1i KSCN0003 smCarl Hagen 1961
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1ii KSCN0002 smBaltimore Property Man with Box of 96 New Sticks Circa 1960
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Swing Class-In Blue

By Ralph Reopert 
1947nightstickarticle12-7-19472 1

The trick of twirling their Espantoons is one that policemen have developed to a fine art down through the years. For a routine show of authority on trivial matters a policeman wears a badge, and develops a deep voice. For cases of dire emergencies, he carries a revolver. Between the situations at those extremes lies the wide bailiwick of the Espantoon, or nightstick. This is the instrument that gives law enforcement its delicate shadings - a touch to the hesitant, a nudge to the raucous, with emphasis increasing as necessary to the' “prod”, “rap” and downright “swing”. The espantoon is the simplest and least expensive article in a policeman's equipment. It is made usually of well-seasoned Maryland split hickory or locust, 22 – 24 inches long and an inch and a quarter thick. Attached to the base of the handle is a rawhide thong, also 22 to 24 inches in length. The department buys Espantoons, 100 or so at a time, from a Pratt street house that has been turning them out as long as most of the sergeants can remember. The new patrolman gets his first one free of charge. If he breaks it, the department replaces it. If he loses it, he buys another for a dollar. For all its simplicity the Espantoon is also one of the policeman's most versatile and important pieces of equipment. It is carried only by men on the night shifts, ordinarily, but by strike or riot squads at all times. As for versatility, its virtues are beyond reproach. In the days before radio and telephone service, policemen banged their nightsticks on the pavement to communicate with each other. Use of the Espantoon’s thong as a tourniquet is common, and many an inebriated going to sleep on the edge of a pier and awakening in the harbor waters has grasped that same extended thong as a lifeline. The Espantoon is most beloved by policemen, however, for two other reasons. The captains say it keeps a new patrolman's hands out or his pockets. The men say it is a great deal of companionship on remote and lonely beats. Dozens of Espantoon spins, whirls and loops have been developed by these lonely policemen down through the years. You can usually tell how long a patrolman has been on the force by the way he handles his espantoon. If, in the course of an hour, he throws it into nothing more complex than a simple forward flip, he has probably been practicing only about six months. 

1947nightstickarticle12-7-19472 5                   Patrolman M. J. Madigan shows the sideswing stick falls thong taunt.1947nightstickarticle12-7-19472 4                           At the bottom of its drop. the espantoon pivots upon its fastening  
1947nightstickarticle12-7-19472 3                          Momentum helped by a gentle tug, carries it through a full circle. 1947nightstickarticle12-7-19472 2                          And so the free end drops back in Madigan's hand its starting point


For the forward flip, the simplest of all Espantoon maneuvers, the policeman holds the free end of the thong and the free end of the slick, then releases the end of the stick as he swings his arm forward. The stick swings out, pivots where the thong is fixed to the handle, does a complete turn and slaps back into the patrolman's hand. The back flip, or outside loop - which requires six months more practice - is the same thing in reverse, with the patrolman catching the end of the club, palm down, behind his back. For the side-swing also, the patrolman gives the club a full turn, this time laterally from a curbstone position. The overhand ,is nothing more than another side-swing with the thong passing over the back of the hand in the starting position unwinding as the maneuver is completed. Any policeman can dangle his Espantoon by the thong and twirl it, but that maneuver leads to two others that are more difficult, the recover and the spin. For the recover, the policeman, with the club in a fast twirl, snaps his wrist expertly and the club straightens out to an upright position, where the policeman seizes it. For the spin, the policeman simply increases the speed of the twirl until the club takes on the appearance of a spoked wheel in a horizontal position. Policemen talk at times about other policemen who, it is said, could throw an Espantoon into a perpendicular spin, like a, "Western Show Rope Spinner". This feat, however, like the Hindu Pope trick, has never actually been seen. Legend also has it that there have been policemen who, by throwing an Espantoon into a forward flip, could break a button off a man's breast pocket without bruising the cigars inside it. As for the name of the stick, Baltimore police are pretty evenly divided between "Espantoon" and "Nightstick". Baltimore is the only city in the world where the word, "Espantoon" is used at all. Webster lists it as "Espantoon” in Baltimore ... a policeman's club." Its derivation is listed as Esponton ( French) meaning Spontoon, a kind of half pike formerly borne by subaltern officers of the British infantry and all commissioned officers of the early United States militia.

Although the official Espantoon issued by the Police Department is hickory, at least half of the patrolmen prefer locust for its ringing qualities - a carryover from the days when it was used for signaling. The official Espantoon is issued in natural color, with a thin coat of transparent enamel to prevent discoloration. Almost all of the patrolmen scrape away the enamel and stain the club to either a walnut or a mahogany hue. Several men call iodine the best dye, saying it gives a luster that cannot be matched by any prepared wood stain. There is a third group that puts the Espantoon on a lathe and burnishes it to a deep mahogany. Other woods have been tried by the few policemen who make their own Espantoons - redwood, rosewood, ebony, cocobola and lignum vitae, the latter tropical growths. The friendly protective picture of a policeman twirling his Espantoon on the corner is gradually fading out of the American scene, for two reasons. The first is that the long thong, which makes for freer twirling, is being replaced in several cities by a short strap barely long enough to pass around a policeman's wrist. Espantoons have been wrestled away from policemen on riot duty. This is a safety measure. The second reason is that there is a regulation against anything but an orderly, inconspicuous display of the Espantoon. The department here doesn't deal too sternly with the latter situation. After all telling a policeman not to swing his Espantoon would be like asking a happy man not to whistle.  


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Espantoon

The Espantoon is a wooden police baton equipped with a long leather strap for twirling. It originated, and is still strongly associated, with the Baltimore Police Department in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The term is considered distinctly Baltimorean. The word itself derives from that of a pole weapon, the spontoon, which was carried by infantry officers of the British Army during the Revolutionary period. Since, the espantoon has been considered a symbol of the "policeman's office and dignity". Before the advent of wireless communications, the espantoon was reportedly used by Baltimore policemen to call for assistance where its user would bang it on the curb or a drainpipe.

In 1994, Thomas C. Frazier took over as Baltimore's police commissioner and banned the espantoon. Frazier, a Californian, believed that the device, and the policemen's twirling of it, was intimidating to the civilian populace. He attempted to replace it with another weapon, the koga. Many officers, however, felt that the koga was cumbersome, difficult to master, and even more dangerous than the espantoon.

In 2000, Edward T. Norris assumed the office of police commissioner and lifted the ban on the espantoon, although he did not mandate its use. The move was made as part of a general effort to boost morale and instill a more aggressive approach to policing in Baltimore. Norris stated, "When I found out what they meant to the rank and file, I said, 'Bring them back.' ... It is a tremendous part of the history of this Police Department."

 

 


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baton 12p daystick

Patrolman fined $25.00

Joseph May and then found guilty of clothing a patrolman on Nelson

In the courtroom where he had often appeared as a witness against prisoners, Patrolman Joseph G. Mannion of the Southwestern District, was found guilty of an unprovoked assault on Patrolman Charles W. Nelson on Saturday morning last by striking his brother policeman on the head with his Espantoon and was fined $25.00 and costs by Justice Ulrich, at the Southwestern Police Station, yesterday afternoon, The fine was paid.

A countercharge of assault preferred against Nelson by Mannion was dismissed by the magistrate, there being no evidence to prove that Nelson assaulted Mannion. Now that Mannion has been given a hearing by the magistrate he will today face and the Police Board on charges of official misconduct.

The trial of the two policemen attracted scores of persons to the police station. Mannion lives at 1408 Battery Avenue and a large gathering of his friends in South Baltimore filled the magistrate’s office. Both policeman wore their uniforms, and Nelson’s head bore evidence of the blow.

The two policemen were represented by counsel; Nelson’s Attorney was Henry J. Broening and Mannion was defended by an H K. Brooks. Deputy Marshal Manning and a stenographer from the police headquarters were present to hear the testimony.


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Espantoon: A Private Club?
19 July 1979
By Girard Ordway
 

 

DURING the trash collectors' strike in Baltimore in the summer of 1974, just before many of the police themselves went on strike, The Sun reported that demonstrators were attempting to throw trash and garbage on the plaza in front of City Hall and that Police "waded in with Espantoon flying." As a Non-Baltimorean, I was confused by the phrase. First, I got to wondering if the wading in was literal (into the garbage) or figurative (resolute and vigorous). And next, I didn't know what an Espantoon was and wondered if a flying Espantoon was anything like a floating kidney. Turning to the dictionary, I was relieved to read in "Webster's ·New International Dictionary of the English Language," second edition, unabridged, the definition of Espantoon: “Baltimore, U.S. A Policeman's club."

However, the definition in turn raises a lot of metaphysical problems about time, space and the essence of Espantoons.

Suppose for example, that a Philadelphia policeman drives through Baltimore on his way to Richmond and has his nightstick, Billy club, or
whatever, along with him. Does it become an Espantoon within the limits of the city of Baltimore?

What does "Baltimore, U.S." mean? Are Espantoons owned only by Baltimore city policemen? Or are there Espantoons in the county, say in
Reisterstown or Catonsville?

Suppose a Baltimore policeman moves to Ashtabula. He might .well think of his club as an Espantoons, but would it really be one?

Conversely, a policeman new to the Baltimore force may have lived formerly in Texarkana. When his Lieutenant gives the order, "All right, men. Wade in with Espantoons a flying!" does lack of understanding result in confusion and hesitation on his part, perhaps having undesirable consequences for the public order and safety?

The Espantoon is officially recognized by the Police Department of the City of Baltimore as an item of an officer's equipment. Standard-issue sticks are made of maple or oak, although according to an informant (Mr. D. S.) an officer may elect to purchase at his own expense a more handsome rosewood stick. Presumably of regulation design and clubbing characteristics. Is there a line to be drawn here? Is there a shading off in design toward non-official, civilian clubs, cudgels, bludgeons and shillelaghs?

With Espantoon, Baltimore may have reached the ultimate in localism. There are parts of the count where one goes to a soda fountain for a milk shake and other parts where one goes to a spa for a frappe, and linguistic atlases of the United States show regions for hoagies, heroes, submarines and grinders. But on the shibboleth of Espantoon it may be Baltimore versus the world.

Baltimore has had other brushes with uniqueness. There is a story that Johns Hopkins was going to leave his money to build a pyramid, until he was persuaded, Egyptian experience to the contrary, that a university and hospital would last longer. Had he proceeded as intended, Baltimore would have been the only American city with a really good-sized pyramid.

As it is, it has the Bromo Seltzer
tower, which is a replica of the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. There are those who remember when it had a 51-foot, 17·ton, blue steel Bromo Seltzer bottle on top which was floodlighted at night and served as a beacon for ship traffic in the Chesapeake Bay. The bottle became unsafe and had to be taken down, so the tower is now more like the one in Florence, except for the Bromo Seltzer clock. Having a replica of something in Florence is certainly a questionable claim to uniqueness, but the clock is Baltimore's own.

As far as can be determined, Baltimore's authors have for the most part ignored Espantoons. Francis Scott Key is not known to have used the word. Nor, it is thought, did Poe, despite the word's auditory interest although it is true that it falls in with the "June-moon-spoon" rhymes rather than the "tomb-gloom-doom" ones. Nor Ogden Nash. H.L. Mencken, Baltimore's Sage and the arch ex-curator of provincialism, mentions Espantoon in Supplement One of "The American Language." In a list of American and British equivalents he says that what the British call a truncheon is known to Police in Baltimore as an Espantoon. You would have to show me in Sedalia, Missouri.

Mr. Ordway is senior scientific editor for the Bureau of National Affairs, a Washington publisher. (
A silly story about the Espantoon by a Sun Reporter, just to remind the public, that Baltimore Police have a uniqueness about their whooping sticks)


imagesCASRE11W

MyEspantooncopyll
Elite Espantoon's
I found this picture on a simple Google photo search, it wasn't an Elite ad, or from the Elite site, it's just someone showing off their wood. But Elite has a style all their own, a style much like Joe's, Carl's and other's before them... where you knew his stick on site... The shape and the finish has Elite written all over it, this is a quality Espantoon

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ESPANTOONS AS LIFE-LINE
Policemen use them to Pull Sailor
Out of Long Dock 
Sep 7 1903 
 

Espantoons are given to police officers as weapons of defense, but last evening 6 Sept 1903 patrolmen Gladden and Thomas of the Central District saved the life of Walter Andrews a sailor from drowning by means of their clubs. Andrews was pursuing his somewhat uncertain way along the coping of long Dock when he lost his balance and fell into the water

Patrolmen Gladdens and Thomas, who were standing nearby heard the splash and cries from help, ran to the spot and saw the man struggling in the dark water. There was no rope or pole at hand, and the officers were for a moment at a loss to think of how to save the man. Then they remembered their Espantoon and lying down flat on the wharf the officers reached their clubs down to Andrews. 

The half-drowned man seized hold of the emblem of authority and was drawn up to the wharf. He was taken to the City Hospital in the Central district patrol wagon and by means of a stomach pump was relieved of a large quantity of Harbor water and other foreign liquids. He soon recovered.  I have heard this story before, and in other accounts the officers used the leather straps (sometimes called thongs – to reach the man and pull him to safety.)


nightstick

 

The Billy Club (also referred to as a truncheon or baton) is a short stick used defensively as a bludgeoning weapon, typically by law enforcement. Billy Clubs can be manufactured using wood, plastic, or steel. They are easily concealable, usually less than an arm's length in size, and specifically designed to be used as a non-lethal means of subduing an attacker, or a non-compliant person. In the photo above we have 6 sticks, the top stick is an issue Baltimore Police Stick, the 3rd stick down from the top is a Carl Hagen, Espantoon, the 5th stick down is a Nightstick Joe (Joe Hlfaka) Nightstick or Espantoon

 

History 

British constables in the early to mid-nineteenth century carried wooden truncheons which quickly received the name "Billy clubs" (or "bully clubs"). At that time, the truncheon was also a means of identification for a legitimate law enforcement officer, similar to the way a badge is used today. Every baton had the authoritative organization's coat of arms emblazoned on its side, for presentation to the individual being approached, or apprehended. The Billy club was such a simple and efficient tool, British officers continued to carry the traditional wooden version without major modifications up to the 1990s. 

 

Etymology 

Some debate the surrounds of, or the origin of the name "Billy Club". Most accounts attribute the "Billy" club to a variation of the slang use of "bully" when referring to a London Police Officer in the Victorian era. Other accounts hold that the early London constables were called "Billie’s" as they served as the official law enforcement officers of King William IV, also known as "Old Bill." Therefore, any club they carried might reasonably be referred to as a "Billy club." The Billy club, while having been renamed and reinvented many times throughout the last few centuries, is still a standard part of the modern-day police officer's arsenal. (Also the most cost effective piece of police equipment) If I were asked, I would have to go with the King William version as to how the Billy Club got its name, simply because of the old saying History repeats itself, And while the Billy clubs were carried by the Billies, and law enforcement ran by King William AKA Old Bill, we can move forward to another name from England, the Bobby and or Bobby cap/helmet. Robert Peel founder of the London Metropolitan Police Department had a police force of men known as "Bobby's Cops" Later shortened to Bobby Cops, and their hats known as Bobby Caps/ Bobby Helmets. It stands to reason if they did it for Robert Peel; they did it first for King William the 4th


Night Stick 1

Night Stick 2

Night STick 3

Night STick 4
Bermuda Police Duncan riot unit
Courtesy Basil Wilson
Notice the baton is made from a pick axe handle

bermuda police riot squad with long batons
Courtesy Basil Wilson
Again notice the pick axe handle baton.
This was done for reach, not to save money.
In fact this was probably more costly than to use of a simple surplus
Truncheon

1

This is a Louisville Slugger Police Baton
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18

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Chicago PD 3
Chicago patrolman
Chicago Patrolman's Nightstick
22 or 23 inch 1 5-8 widest 1.25 shaft
Chicago Patrolman's Nightstick
4

In the Victorian era, police in London carried truncheons about one-foot long called billy clubs. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this name is first recorded in 1848 in American English as slang for a burglars' crowbar. The meaning "policeman's club" is first recorded 1856. The truncheon acted as the policeman's 'Warrant Card' as the Royal Crest attached to it indicated the policeman's authority. This was always removed when the equipment left official service (often with the person who used it). Earlier on the word was used in vulgar Latin (bastο - a stick helping walking, from basta - hold).

The Victorian original has since developed into the several varieties available today. The typical truncheon is a straight stick made from wood or a synthetic material, approximately 1.25 inches (32 mm) in diameter and 18–36 inches (460–910 mm) long, with a fluted handle to aid in gripping. Truncheons are often ornamented with their organizations' coats of arms. Longer truncheons are called "riot batons" because of their use in riot control.

Truncheons probably developed as a marriage between the club or military mace and the staff of office/sceptre.

Straight batons of rubber have a softer impact. Some of the kinetic energy bends and compresses the rubber and bounces off when the object is struck. The Russian police standard-issue baton is rubber, except in places such as Siberia, cold enough that the rubber can become brittle and break if struck.

The traffic baton is red to make it more visible as a signaling aid in directing traffic. In Russia traffic batons are striped in black and white for the same reason.

Until the mid-1990s, British police officers carried traditional wooden truncheons of a sort that had changed little from Victorian times. After the early 1990s, forces replaced truncheons with side-handle and collapsible batons for all but ceremonial duties.

The Baltimore Police used to use two kinds of batons depending on the time. The one for daytime was called a day-stick and was 11 inches in length. Another baton, that was used at night, was 22 to 24" inches long and called a night-stick, which is the origin of the word "nightstick". The night-stick was longer so it could provide extra protection which was thought to be necessary at night.
A mace is a blunt weapon, a type of club or virge that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver a more powerful blow. A mace typically consists of a strong, heavy, wooden or metal shaft, often reinforced with metal or carved wood, featuring a head made of Wood, Stone, Copper, Bronze, Iron, or Steel.

The head of a military mace can be shaped with flanges or knobs to allow greater penetration of plate armour. The length of maces can vary considerably. The maces of foot soldiers were usually quite short (two or three feet, or seventy to ninety centimetres). The maces of cavalrymen were longer and thus better suited for blows delivered from horseback. Two-handed maces could be even larger.

Maces are rarely used today for actual combat, but a large number of government bodies (for instance the British House of Commons, the U.S. Congress), universities and other institutions have ceremonial maces and continue to display them as symbols of authority. They are often paraded in academic, parliamentary or civic rituals and processions.


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9

15
Ring Grip Baton
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Ring Grip Baton
24
Ring Grip Billy Club
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Finger Grip Truncheon
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Finger Grip Truncheon
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Ring Grip Billy Club
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Baltimore Nightstick Joe Style Stick
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Finger Grip Metal Truncheon
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The Eight His Nightsticks Air Swing –Shifts To Make Heads Sting
13 May 1934 

Patrolman Simmons Transfers Espantoon From Exercise To Action When Called To Quell Fist Fight One Hotel’s Ballroom Floor

Patrolman Joseph R. Simmons was swinging his nightstick peacefully at about 2:30 o’clock yesterday morning as he walked to his call box to receive a message from central police station

1 minute later he was swinging his nightstick again, but this time not so peacefully. The sudden change in the nature of his swing was ascribed to the alleged fight between two men on the ballroom floor at the Lord Baltimore hotel

Several hours later, the patrolman again the harmless tricks with his Espantoon on the way to central police court. Three of the four men arrested had been charged with disorderly conduct as a result of the visit to the hotel and fined a total of $12.00 and cost.

When patrolman Simmons arrived at the hotel. He reported to his supervisor, he separated two men, as he was leading a Allen P. Vance 22 of the 2400 block a Wilkens Avenue, from the floor, he said the man’s 20 year-old Brother James, “Pushed me aside and kept pulling at me, making it necessary for me to use my stick!” - “when I got to the street!” Simmons continued, “Allen got loose and struck me in the jaw, making it necessary for me to use my on him too!”

Both brothers were treated at mercy hospital for scalp lacerations, and later taken a central police station. There they were joined by Edward Stuchler of the 1600 block of North Lakewood Avenue, and John Seymour of 1200 block of North Patterson Park avenue.

The two youths were fined $1.00 and cost each for disorderly conduct, the police said Allen was fined $5.00 and cost on the disorderly conduct charge, in a similar amount of charges of assaulting Simmons. James who lives in the 1000 block of North Fulton Avenue was dismissed.


P4140010

A Day Stick / Like Nightstick but Half as Long
Carried During Day Shift Because the Nightstick Looked Intimidating
Also a Longer Stick wasn’t Needed During Daylight Hours
P4140011

The Marble Size Ball at the Barrel Head End of the Day Stick
Was More than Just a Fancy Design.
It was Used on Pressure Points to Effect an Arrest on a Subject that Resist.

P4140012
This is the Striking End
P4140013
This is the End Held
P4140014
As you can see this is approx. 15" long
Six or Seven inches Shorter than the Nightstick
P4190001
The Rope was Attatched long before Leather, or Swivals were Used

maryland flag line6

Nightstick History/Info/Silliness
Unknown Author (Possibly Bill Hackley)
 

When I started out, the older officers often had a short, hard-rubber club they carried in the sap pocket on the leg seam of their uniform trousers. They referred to it as a "Day Billy", harkening back to a time when the day shift on a police department was a fairly quiet affair. When the sun went down and the crazies came out, however, they parked the Day Billy and picked up a "Nightstick". Most of us also carried a slap-jack, or "convoy" blackjack tucked in a pocket in case we were inadvertently caught somewhere without a stick. Like in a diner during a meal break, or at turn-key downtown. You were expected to always use an impact tool. If you hurt your hand from punching someone, and had to go off on injured status, you were forcing someone else to leave their job to cover your beat. Getting injured legitimately was expected, but getting hurt foolishly was considered to be bad form. 

Being an avid law enforcement history buff, I learned over my 38 year career that there often is a lot of tradition, and a lot of really fun stories, attached to the various styles and configurations of nightsticks and billies used by the different agencies across this country. I've managed to collect quite a number of 'signature' sticks from various LE departments while I was on the job. It's hard for me now to pick one of them up, and heft it in my hand, and not recall the first time I stepped out of a cruiser at a disturbance call, my new gunbelt creaking stiffly, and remember the first time anyone ever came up to me and said, "There, Officer...it's that blue house with the chain link fence". In time, I got to visit LE agencies in other parts of the country and was always fascinated by their impact weapons, and the local history attached to them. 

Sometimes it involved the type of nightstick issued at an agency. Like the espantoon used by the coppers at Baltimore PD. If you aren't aware of it, the espantoon outwardly looks like a standard old-style nightstick. However, it was modified slightly in shape and the design of its leather thong and held in the opposite way a normal nightstick was held. That is, you conked miscreants with what most of us would identify as the knurled "handle" end of the stick, not the "barrel" end. I've heard a couple of different stories as to why the espantoon is employed that way, and how it came by its name. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure, but it's a neat story. 

Contrast that with the lance-like 26-inch "koga" style nightsticks that gained favor on the west coast in the 1970's, supplanting the older style nightsticks with the leather thong that beat cops had used for years. The trim, unadorned "koga" stick represented a formalized system of close quarters hand-to-hand control over out-of-control trouble makers. The first real martial arts based system of stick use that I recall being taught to street cops in this country. Most of us had only been taught a few choke holds and come-alongs at the academy, along with hours of striking and short-sticking the heavy bag at the gym. Give a determined road-dog copper a dynawood koga-style nightstick, and a modicum of training, and you couldn't find anyone in the county who could whip him in a fight. 

At a lot of police departments, either the agency issued a cheap POS nightstick, or it required each officer to procure his own "knocker". If you poke around in the history of those departments, you'll generally come upon the name of one or two officers who, as a side-line back in the day, turned out high quality nightsticks and made a few bucks selling them to everyone. The makers didn't charge much for a nightstick because their brother officers couldn't afford much on the skinny salaries they made. These were sticks that had an identifiable style of manufacture that soon became the signature tool of that agency, often nearly as identifiable as the agency's badge or shoulder emblem. The stick makers' names are all but lost in the mists of time now. Names like Tony Barsotti at San Francisco PD, Ernie Porter at Cincinnati PD, or Joe Hlafka at Baltimore. You can spot those sticks by their contours just as sure as if the maker's mark had been burned into the wood. 

Frankly, I've always thought the real advantage to working in uniform was that you could nonchalantly carry a real club when you were in public and on a job, and no one gave you a second glance. The old cops told me to "take his wind, or take his wheels" when fighting a high-end resister, and I quickly learned the effectiveness of a short-stick jab to the solar plexus, a full-power smash to the short ribs, or well centered strike at the back of the thigh or calf muscle. The idea was to debilitate and wear down a resister, bring him back under control and get him cuffed up. "Don't cripple him, if you don't have to", one old timer told me, "Just take the starch out of him and bring him in". Damned if it didn't work as well, or better, than anything invented since. 

That's what the nightstick represented then. Carried idly in your hand, twirled at the end of a leather thong, or dangling from a gun belt, it was the visible symbol of the restrained presence that characterizes the American police officer. I know that when I started out some of the old sergeants actually discouraged anyone from wearing a baton ring on your gun belt. They believed that stick should always be in your hand, or tucked under your arm as you scribbled in your notebook. I rebelled, being a practical sort, and started wearing a baton ring as soon as I got off probation in the spring of 1972. Then, as now, there was a lot of anarchist sentiment in the country and assaults on LEO's were high. Having my stick in a ring on my belt cut down on the chances of some chud getting it and getting himself shot for his efforts. 

You remember what a CHUD is, right? A "Citizen Having Urban Difficulties"? 

In time I tried using nightsticks made of polycarbonate plastics, even briefly tried one made out of aluminum. The only one that felt good in my hands was an 18-inch-long "Billy" made by Monadnock that I bought about 30 years ago. It had a slightly oversized grip which fit nicely in my oversized hands and was marketed as the "Tuff Boy" model. It sure lived up to its name. It didn't warp out of shape if you left it locked in the car during the summer, was fast-handling and darn near stout enough to hammer fence posts into the ground. But, being a short "Billy", it was never as versatile as the 24 or 26-inch hardwood nightsticks were.


granade grip

Tuff Boy
(Grenade Grip)

Anyway, I enjoy collecting sticks, and stick stories. If you have one, I'd sure like to hear about it. Any "El Kabong" "Wroooong" or "Wood Shampoo" stories you have will not be reported... LOL, in fact no names will be attached, I will assume some literary freedom was taken, creative writing entered, and in the interests of keeping it fun, would never drop a dime, but I will raise a score card 5 thru 10 is how they'll be graded. Using the internet to have these sent to me, I can never tell who really sent them, anyone can get an email address and send a story with anyone's name, this is why we can't report stories ;) Not to mention statute of limitations runs out on a war story, when it has been passed down by too many others, I have heard stories that had a familiar ring to them, and in the end learned it was me that did whatever they were talking about. LOL


Picture005-1

Picture006-2
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Most of these are standard Nightsticks...
I'll be posting pics soon of some Day sticks and some Yard sticks

Baton (law enforcement) 

Nightstick (band). For the Transformers character, see Nightstick (Transformers).

Old police baton - A truncheon or baton (also called a cosh, billystick, billy club, nightstick, sap, blackjack, stick) is essentially a club of less than arm's length made of wood, plastic, or metal. They are carried for forced compliance and self-defense by law-enforcement officers, correctional staff, security-industry employees and (less often) military personnel. Other uses for truncheons and batons include crowd control or the dispersal of belligerent or non-compliant people.

A truncheon or baton may be used to strike, jab, block, bludgeon and aid in the application of arm-locks. Sometimes, they also are employed as weapons by criminals and other law-breakers because of their easy concealment. As a consequence, they are illegal for non-authorized civilian use in many jurisdictions around the world. They have a common role to play, too, in the rescuing of trapped individuals—for instance, people caught in blazing cars or buildings—by smashing windows or even doors.

History

19th-century police truncheons in the Edinburgh Police Centre Museum
A modern wooden baton. In the Victorian era, police in London carried truncheons about one-foot long called Billy clubs. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this name is first recorded in 1848 in American English as slang for a burglars' crowbar. The meaning "policeman's club" is first recorded 1856. The truncheon acted as the policeman's 'Warrant Card' as the Royal Crest attached to it indicated the policeman's authority. This was always removed when the equipment left official service (often with the person who used it). Earlier on the word was used in vulgar Latin (bastο - a stick helping walking from basta - hold).

The Victorian original has since developed into the several varieties available today. The typical truncheon is a straight stick made from wood or a synthetic material, approximately 1.25 inches (32 mm) in diameter and 18–36 inches (460–910 mm) long, with a fluted handle to aid in gripping. Truncheons are often ornamented with their organizations' coats of arms. Longer truncheons are called "riot batons" because of their use in riot control.

Truncheons probably developed as a marriage between the club or military mace and the staff of office/scepter.

Straight batons of rubber have a softer impact. Some of the kinetic energy bends and compresses the rubber and bounces off when the object is struck. The Russian police standard-issue baton is rubber, except in places such as Siberia, cold enough that the rubber can become brittle and break if struck.

The traffic baton is red to make it more visible as a signaling aid in directing traffic. In Russia traffic batons are striped in black and white for the same reason.

Until the mid-1990s, British police officers carried traditional wooden truncheons of a sort that had changed little from Victorian times. After the early 1990s, forces replaced truncheons with side-handle and collapsible batons for all but ceremonial duties.

The BPD used to use two kinds of batons depending on the time. The one for daytime was called a day-stick and was 11 inches in length. Another baton, that was used at night, was 26 inches long and called a night-stick, which is where the word nightstick came from. The night-stick was longer so it could provide extra protection which was thought to be necessary at night.
Mounted Unit
Horses working in riot control wear facial armor, made of Perspex so that the animals can still see. The officers themselves are often equipped with especially long wooden or polycarbonate baton nightstick for use on horseback, as standard patrol baton would have insufficient length to strike or control individuals at ground level, so length would be important.   

Mounted policemen watch a Vietnam War protest march in San Francisco April 1967
This is San Francisco PD Mounted 1967

They are not using the long mounted stick, but if you look in the back pocket of the rider closest to us, you'll see he has a "Daystick" protruding from his pocket; it appears as though the rider next to him may have one too.
Target Areas

Before the 1970s, it was common for law enforcement in the United Kingdom to "brain" suspects (strike their heads) in order to stun them or knock them unconscious. However, this was unreliable and potentially fatal. Civil lawsuits and claims of police brutality resulted in better training for officers. In modern police training, it is not permitted to hit the skull, sternum, spine, or groin unless such an attack is unavoidable. The primary targets now are nerves, such as the common peroneal nerve, and large muscles, such as the quadriceps and or biceps. 

Comparison with other weapons

Hand-held impact weapons have some advantages over newer less lethal weapons. Batons are less expensive than Tasers to buy or to use, and carry none of the risk of cross-contamination of OC aerosol canisters (pepper spray) in confined areas. Tasers and OC canisters have limited ammunition, whereas batons use none. 

Batons are higher on the use of force continuum than many other less-lethal weapons, as they are more likely to cause lasting or fatal injuries. Like Tasers and OC, batons are referred to as "less-lethal" rather than "non-lethal". These items are not designed to be fatal, but they can be: allergic reaction to pepper spray, blood clots from baton strikes, and heart stoppage after being shocked by a Taser.

Baton designs

Batons in common use by police around the world include many different designs, such as fixed-length straight batons, blackjacks, fixed-length side-handle batons, collapsible straight batons, and other more exotic variations. All types have their advantages and disadvantages.

The design and popularity of specific types of baton have evolved over the years and are influenced by a variety of factors. These include inherent compromises in the dual (and competing) goals of control effectiveness and safety (for both officer and subject).

Straightstick

A straight, fixed-length baton (also commonly referred to as a "Straightstick") is the oldest and simplest police baton design, known as far back as ancient Egypt. It consists of little more than a long cylinder with a molded, turned or wrapped grip, usually with a slightly thicker or tapering shaft and rounded tip. They are often made of hardwood, but in modern times are available in other materials such as aluminum, acrylic, and dense plastics and rubber. They range in size from short clubs less than a foot in length to long 36-inch (91 cm) "riot batons" commonly used in civil disturbances or by officers mounted on horseback. Straightsticks tend to be heavier and have more weight concentrated in the striking end than other designs. This makes them less maneuverable, but theoretically would deliver more kinetic energy on impact. Most agencies have replaced the straightstick with other batons because of inconvenience to carry, and a desire for their officers to look less threatening to the community they serve. Despite having been replaced by side-handle and expandable batons in many (if not most) law enforcement agencies, it remains in use by many major departments in the US, such as the Baltimore, Denver, Sacramento, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Riverside Police Departments, and are used by NYPD Auxiliary Police officers, as well as many Military Police forces around the world.

Sap

A sap is a flat-profiled, leather-covered lead rod, fitted with a spring handle. It is also the name for a weapon of similar design (also called a slapper, slap jack or beavertail sap). A sap has a flat profile as opposed to a cylindrical profile of a blackjack, and spreads its impact out over a broader area, making it less likely to break bone. It was primarily used for head strikes, intended to stun an opponent or render him or her unconscious.

Blackjack

Two blackjacks and a hinged club on display at Bedford

Museum

A blackjack (American English), or cosh (British English), is a small, easily concealed club consisting of a leather-wrapped lead weight attached to the end of a leather-wrapped coil spring or rigid shaft, with a lanyard or strap on the end opposite the weight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_(law_enforcement)

Materials other than lead and leather are sometimes used to construct these weapons, but the design principle (a soft covering over a dense weighted core) stays the same. Some were weighted with a heavy lead ball wrapped in woven or plaited sailor's line (marline or Codline) and then varnished over. Some carefully made examples were likely to have been used by a boatswain or ship's master-at-arms or ship's mate as a badge of office and discipline-enforcer. 

This weapon works by creating kinetic energy in the dense core, via the spring handle, during the swing. When directed at the head, it works by concussing the brain without cutting the scalp. This is meant to stun or knock out the subject, although head strikes from blackjacks are regularly fatal. Blackjacks were popular among law enforcement for a time due to their low profile, small size, and their suitability for knocking a suspect unconscious. Coshes have also been used by the military for example by Special Forces such as the British Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Currently, however, they are all but prohibited in most municipalities due to liability issues stemming from their potential lethality when used as a compliance device. A blackjack is sometimes wrongly referred to as a sap.

"Blackjack" is also American English slang referring to an improvised weapon composed of a heavy object placed inside a sock. The same improvised weapon is referred to in British English slang as a "slungshot" or a "cosh."

The word "cosh" is sometimes used loosely for any blunt instrument.

Side-handle baton

A pair of tonfa Side-handle batons (sometimes referred to as T-batons or Nightsticks) are batons with a short side handle at a right angle to the shaft, about six inches from one end. The main shaft is typically 61 centimetres (24 in) in length. They are derived from the tonfa, an Okinawan Kobudo weapon, and are used with a similar technique (although Tonfas are usually used in pairs, whereas side-handle batons are not). The best known example is the Monadnock PR-24, which has become a generalized trademark within the law enforcement and security communities for this type of product. 

It can be held by: One end, and the corner between the shaft and the handle used to catch a long swung blunt or sharp weapon. The side handle, and the long shaft held against the hand and forearm to splint and shield the arm against an expected blow from an attacker. Side-handle batons are made in both fixed and collapsible models, and may be constructed from a range of materials including wood, polycarbonate, epoxy, and aluminum. Some side-handle batons are one-piece in design; the side-handle component and primary shaft are permanently fused together during manufacturing. One-piece designs are potentially stronger in design than two-piece designs, and have no risk of having a locking screw come loose from its threads. Other side-handle batons are two-piece in design (common among cheaper makes); the side-handle component is screwed into primary shaft. The side handle may be removed from the shaft by the end-user, converting the side-handle into a straight baton. Users of two-piece side handle batons would be well-advised to apply a thread-locking compound to the side-handle screw to prevent loosening under use. It would also be prudent to occasionally check the tightness of that screw. The advantages of a side-handle baton over a straight baton are numerous:

There are a far greater number of defensive techniques/maneuvers that may be used with the side-handle baton in contrast with the straight baton. The side-handle component may aid in weapon retention, making it more difficult for a suspect to take the baton away from the officer in a struggle. The side-handle component prevents the baton from rolling far away if inadvertently dropped, unlike a straight baton. Subjectively, some officers may be able to deliver a strike of greater power with the side-handle baton (when used in conjunction with a "power stroke") over a straight baton. Due to its design, a side handle baton is generally used in a more defensive and less offensive manner than a straight baton, and thus it is less likely for an officer to "instinctively" use a side-handle baton as a simple bludgeon and direct indiscriminate strikes against a suspect. Also, the typically defensive stance the side-handle baton is used with is generally believed to present a more community-friendly image than a straight baton.

Side-Handle Batons have a few Disadvantages:

More training is required for an officer to fully utilize the potential of a side-handle baton compared to a straight baton. The side-handle slightly increases overall weight and bulk of the baton compared to a straight baton of identical length. When the side-handle baton is used as a simple bludgeon (without gripping the side-handle), it is less effective than a straight baton. Side-handle batons have been involved in high-profile incidents of alleged police brutality, such as in New Zealand's 1981 Springbok Tour and the Rodney King beating. In the New Zealand instance new techniques of use were developed for crowd control. These techniques attracted the interest of the police forces of certain South American countries of the time who sent un-official observers to learn these techniques. Expandable baton ASP 21-inch (53 cm) expandable baton in expanded and collapsed state. Swedish riot police with expandable baton.  An expandable baton (also referred to variously as a collapsible baton, telescopic [or telescoping] baton, tactical baton, spring cosh, ASP, Extendable, or extendo [slang]) is typically composed of a cylindrical outer shaft containing telescoping inner shafts (typically 2 or 3, depending on the design) that lock into each other when expanded. The shafts are usually made of steel, but lightweight baton models may have their shafts made from other materials such as aluminium alloy. Expandable batons may have a solid tip at the outer end of the innermost shaft; the purpose of the solid tip is to maximize the power of a strike when the baton is used as an impact weapon. Expandable batons are made in both straight and side-handle configurations, but are considerably more common in the straight configuration. The best-known example of the straight expandable baton is the ASP (Armament Systems and Procedures) Baton, which has become a genericized trademark within the law enforcement and security communities for this type of product.

Depending on the holster or scabbard design, it may be possible to carry an expandable baton in either collapsed or expanded position, which would be helpful if an officer needed to holster an expanded baton and it was not possible or convenient to collapse it at the time. An expandable baton is opened by being swung in a forceful manner while collapsed, using inertia to extend and lock the segments by friction. Some mechanical-lock versions can also be opened by simply pulling the segments apart. Depending on the design, expandable batons may be collapsed either by being brought down (inverted) on a hard surface, or by depressing a button lock and manually collapsing the shafts. Additionally, the baton, in collapsed configuration, may be used as a control device against non-compliant subjects in conjunction with pain-compliance control techniques, such as to remove a driver refusing to exit his or her vehicle. It can be used as a large  Kubotan
Advantages

The advantages of a collapsible baton over a fixed baton are numerous: The collapsible shaft makes it easier for the officer to carry it and to sit in a car seat wearing it, since when collapsed it is between six and ten inches (15 to 25 cm) long. This is contrasted with non-collapsible batons, which the officer may, as a measure of convenience, often resort to removing from his or her belt when seating themselves in a vehicle. Non-collapsible batons are typically carried in a ring type belt attachment. Fixed batons carried in such holders work themselves out of the holder when the wearing officer sprints. Two answers are to hold the baton down in the ring with a hand, or have the baton in the hand; neither is desirable. The typical collapsible straight baton and its scabbard do not suffer this, and remain secure regardless of the wearing officer's movement. In theory, the mere display of extending the baton may in some instances be terrifying to an aggressive person (due to both the sight and sound of the action, with a similar intimidation technique as used in pump-action shotguns), and may thus escalate to violently force submission or incapacitation of the target. It could also deescalate the situation through fear-motivated submission of the target without physical violence. Many police officers believe that it presents a more community-friendly image to the general public than non-collapsible batons, due to the former's lower profile while collapsed; many citizens may not even know what the collapsible baton is for when it is collapsed and residing in the officer's duty belt; a 29-inch (74 cm) wooden straight stick’s designed purpose, on the other hand, is clearly more self-evident. In this regard, the collapsible baton may be considered more suitable for community-oriented policing. A collapsible baton may be deployed against a suspect whether expanded or collapsed; expanded, the baton's reach is extended, but collapsed, the baton is handier in close quarters. This provides greater versatility in a wider range of environments over the fixed-length baton.

Disadvantages

However, expandable batons are not without some disadvantages: Some police may prefer to carry a fixed baton due to the greater visual deterrence it may provide (which may be a benefit in the form of increasing the officer's command presence). Similarly, a fixed baton serves better as a conspicuous symbol of authority (i.e., "badge of office") than a collapsed expandable baton. Fixed batons may often be less expensive than their collapsible counterparts of identical or similar quality. Because of this, some law enforcement departments, such as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, may issue a fixed-length baton, but have their officers/deputies purchase expandable batons at the option and expense of the individual officer. Fixed batons may be inherently faster to bring into action, due to their not needing to first be extended before use as an impact weapon (unless one wishes to use a collapsible baton in collapsed form). It is however possible to deliver a strike whilst opening the baton in one fluid motion if the officer is correctly trained. This is called a "rapid response strike." If an expandable baton is of friction-lock design, as most are, there is an inherent risk that the baton may inadvertently close at an inopportune moment while being used to strike a suspect. This also prevents expandable batons from being used to prod or strike with the tip. In a situation in which stealth is required, a collapsed baton may rattle, giving away the officer's position. Most expandable batons have most of their weight concentrated at the grip and the tip tends to be the lightest part since it is the thinnest part of the baton. As such it may deliver less forceful blows than a fixed baton.

Stun Baton

Main article: Electroshock weapon Stun batons are an unusual modern variation designed to administer an electric shock in order to incapacitate the target. They consist of an insulated handle and guard, and a rigid shaft usually a foot or more in length for delivering a shock. Many designs function like an elongated stun gun or a cattle prod, requiring the tip to be held against the target and then manually triggering a shock by a switch in the handle. Some more sophisticated designs carry a charge along the shaft's entire surface, administering a shock on contact. This later design is especially useful in preventing the officer from having his weapon grabbed and taken away by an assailant.

Most batons of this design were not intended to be used as impact weapons and will break if used in this way, though a few were built to withstand occasional lighter impacts. They are rarely in use by patrol officers in modern times due to their price and the other associated problems with electroshock weapons. Improvised impact weapons a homemade blackjack can be made using several techniques. Putting a bar of soap, rocks or some wet sand in a sock, then tying off the end makes a blackjack out of common items. Some non-purpose built items have been used by law enforcement over the centuries as impact weapons. Examples are: Pickaxe handles. These have been used in the British Army as an official guard baton.

Baseball bat - These methods are of course not as effective as actual batons. They also should be used appropriately and responsibly.


Flashlights

Although the Kel-Lite in the 1970's appears to have been the third flashlight designed specifically to be useful as an emergency defensive weapon, the best-known example is the D-Cell Maglight, still in use by some law enforcement and security personnel. 

Use of such flashlights as a club or baton is generally officially discouraged by the manufacturers and law enforcement officials, but its use is an option. As with all police weapons, there have been many allegations of misuse, such as in the Malice Green beating in Detroit. However, it should be noted that the use of flashlights as improvised impact weapons is subject to the same use of force regulations as the use of purpose-designed impact weapons like batons.

Peace officers may often choose to use such flashlights because they are viewed primarily as illumination devices; thus, if a peace officer carries one in his hands during nighttime encounters with potentially violent subjects, it would be more difficult to file valid complaints (of unnecessarily brandishing a weapon) than if the officer were to be equipped with a baton or pepper spray canister instead. This permits the officer to have an impact weapon in hand and ready for instantaneous action, rather than having to draw a baton or pepper spray canister.

Characteristic of a flashlight used as a baton or club is the grip employed. Flashlights are commonly held with the bulb end pointing from the thumb side of the hand, such that it is pointing outward from the body when held palm upward. When wielded as a club, the bulb end points inward when the hand is palm upward, and the grip is closely choked to the bulb end. Another advantage to using a flashlight as a club is that in poorly lit situations it can be used to initially dazzle the eyes of an opponent. Law enforcement officers often deliberately shine flashlight beams into the eyes of suspects at night to cause temporary night-blindness as a preemptive defensive measure, whether or not the individual is likely to behave violently. 

Legality

Batons are legal for sworn law enforcement and military in most countries around the world. However, the legality of civilian carry for purpose-built batons varies greatly by country, and by local jurisdictions.

In the United States, legality is determined by the laws of the individual states. Some such as Vermont or Arizona allow for legal carry in the absence of unlawful behavior or criminal intent. Others such as California have general prohibitions against the carrying of all "club" weapons by non-law enforcement. Such jurisdictions will sometimes make exceptions for persons employed as security guards or bodyguards, will provide for permits to be obtained for legal carry, or make exceptions for persons who complete an appropriate training course.

In the UK, batons are considered to be offensive weapons (as they are "made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person"), which prohibits their possession in a public place under the Prevention of Crime Act 1953. In addition, manufacturing, selling, lending and importing fixedhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_(law_enforcement) and telescopic batons are all prohibited under section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.  

In Canada, there is no specific law that prohibits batons; except for spring-loaded batons, which are defined as a prohibited weapon under a regulation entitled 'Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted' (also capable of being referred to by its registration number: SOR 98-462). However, it is a crime under section 90 of the Criminal Code of Canada to carry any weapon, including a baton, in a concealed fashion.

In Sweden, all types of batons can be owned but not carried in public spaces by private citizens according to law (1988:254).

Police’s Spurn City’s Nightsticks, Buy Their Own
Jun 27, 1977

The nightstick is a very special thing to the Baltimore city policeman. Rather than a simple piece of wood to be used in the line of duty, the nightstick is seen as a constant companion, and even a lifesaver. As Sgt. Larry Leeson, a police spokesman said, “It is like his best friend almost.” And as one exercises care in choosing a best friend, policeman are very careful in selecting a nightstick. They have a definite idea about how big, and how heavy the stick should be to do the job effectively. Many offices enjoy carrying a stick that has some feature that makes it uniquely their own. The strapless, 21 inch; 1 and a half wide unfinished nightsticks issued by the City Police Department to each of it's officers just don’t measure up, many policemen say, thus, it has become a tradition for many officers to go out and buy their own longer, thicker, heavier and fancier nightsticks. A supplier of such nightsticks whose products are currently in vogue with the police department is Mr. Edward W. Bremer, a 75 year old weapons maker who said recently that he has sold more than 300 of his $12 sticks during the three years he has been in business (1974–1977) mostly to officers who have just entered or graduated from the Police Academy. Mr. Bremer believes the policemen come to him rather than buying from a large commercial supplier “because they like the fact that I’ll make it the way they want.” He gives the officers their choice of wood, which determines the weight, and force of impact the stick will have. “I have made some of the long as 26 inches and some 2 ½ inches in diameter” Mr. Bremer said, the biggest and hardest nightsticks are usually ordered by policeman serving the “Western, or Northwest Districts”.

Mr. Bremer stains the sticks in the color of the officer’s choice, and attaches braided leather strap with a metal swivel, so the stick can be twirled with a flick of the wrist, “Some policeman like a little nib on the end of the stick to poke a suspect in stomach.” he said. “Despite the sadistic sound of it”, Mr. Bremer has a sense of high purpose in his work.

The nightsticks issued by the department, referred to by one officer as “toothpicks”. Our smaller and lighter than the sticks he makes. Mr. Bremer believes “because they just don’t want nobody to get hurt.” But a nightstick, he maintains, is a defensive weapon.

It’s supposed to be able to knock somebody out.” He said, “A policeman with a heavy stick in his hand has a feeling of protection. A light stick is no protection at all. The boys patrolling the beat in the some bad characters. They want their stick good and heavy.”

Mr. Bremer recalled that he was in his boyhood when he “took a liking” the police officers.

A lot of my friends joined the police force,” he said. “So I want to give them something that will do the job and keep them out of trouble.”

Officer stationed throughout the city, some of them carry Mr. Bremer’s creations, echoed his views. Many also confessed to a sentimental attachment to the nightsticks.

A stick that is distinctive in some way or was passed down by a friend or relative who has retired from the department is a source of pride, several officers said. They also stubbornly cling to the old-fashioned term, “espantoon,” when referring to nightsticks and their reports.

Mr. Bremer said he is very discerning about who buys his products. He deals only with policeman or security guards who show identification, he said “I’m not going to sell to every Tom Dick and Harry” he said he was glad to make 10 inch, purse sized to sticks for women who feel they need protection themselves Mr. Bremer said.

A retired custom home builder and lifelong amateur carpenter, Mr. Bremer began turning out nightsticks and little workshop near his home in the 3500 block of old York Road as a way to fill his idle time.

He said he doesn’t earn much of a profit when the sticks. “But even if I don’t make any money, it would give me something to do,” he said. “Anyone that retires without something do this for us.”

 

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Andre Nock
Brian Schwaab

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Nick Hershan
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Mike Maurer
Mike Maurer

Nightstick Joe - Guaranteed Hobby
11 April 1983

Joe Hlafka gives a lifetime guarantee with every nightstick he sells. If you bash someone over the head with it and it breaks, who replace it free. That's how sore he is of the quality of his work. Joe Hlafka a.k.a. nightstick Joe to dozens of his friends and acquaintances – is a squat, heavyset, 45-year-old city policeman who is turned a hobby, woodworking, into a lucrative part-time business.

Working in wood shavings up to his ankles in hit the basement of his South Baltimore row home, he turns out everything for nightsticks and walking sticks to children's toys and puzzles – all of which he sells at bargain basement prices he charges $20 plus tax for example for one of his walking sticks but he estimates it cost him almost $16 to make and that doesn't include his labor. Similarly he sells nightsticks that he says cost him about 10 or $12 to make for $17 plus tax why because he's not in it for the money. It's a hobby something I do after work to unwind, he says some people like to go out and have a couple of beers. Me I like to come home and make things that's how I relax. Besides, he thinks it's a moral for anyone to make a huge profit. My father always told me, if you serve the masses see your eat with the classes. I believe that. I tried to concentrate on volume, and that way I'm able to keep my prices low and still make a few dollars myself. Most of Mr. Hopkins it's pronounced Hlafka as if the H was silent nightsticks are sold by word-of-mouth to individual policeman or to a plea supply house – some as far away as Florida and Texas. Nightsticks are heavier and sturdier than regulation nightsticks they weigh 12 1/2 to 14 ounces and they cost about $10 more but their superior to anything that mass-produced Mr. Hlafka says and they meet all police standards. There made a Purple Heart, a door bolt, purple color wood grown in the South, or Bubinga, a strong West African wood similar to a Rosewood.

For civilians, including the elderly who want canes that also can be used for protection, there are custom-made nightstick Joe Hlafka walking sticks, longer and thicker than nightsticks, and much more elaborate. The handles our brass usually in the shape of an animal head and intricate diamond, spiral or fluted designs are carved with a router into the shaft both the walking sticks and nightsticks are soaked in linseed oil tried and see over the polyurethane to protect them for moisture, which is the enemy of wood. So, oddly enough is rein or the lack of it.

A poor rainy season can slow a trees growth and create weak spots in the wood, Mr. Hlafka claims. He says the weak spots are not always noticeable, and the wood may break if it hit something hard enough. I've tested the nightsticks with a hydraulic gauge, and I can apply 110 pounds of pressure per square inch before the Purple Heart cracks. The Bubinga will take 210 pounds per square inch.

But if there is a weak spot in the wood, the crack a lot faster. That's why I guarantee my sticks. You never know when you might get one that's bad

Joe Hlafka, was born and raised in South Baltimore, and has been a policeman for 13 years. He started in Western District and transferred to the traffic division two years ago. His beat is a North Charles and Saratoga Street area where he's known for his a viable good humor. One of his favorite ploys is to travel along the street hawking parking tickets for drivers whose cars are parked in no parking zones – a nice gesture according to one N. Charles St. merchant who says the policeman makes a point without offending people. According to Police Department records Mr. Hlafka has been shot six times in the line of duty. He was cited a few months ago for his part in foiling a robbery at Charles Center bank is married and credits his wife Adella withholding the marriage together, for 25 years, I've always been able to talk to her and discuss things he said, and that's helped me handle the stress of police work. The couple has three daughters, a son Joe Junior died a few years ago.

Mr. Hlafka plays trombone in the Baltimore City Police Department Dance Band, Sounds of an Era, which performs for community groups, and he participates in a federally funded police program to get drunk drivers off the road.

He began doing woodworking when he was 9 or 10 years old. I join the police boys club and started making fancy lamps and things it's something I've always enjoyed doing, but I've never sold anything up until a couple of years ago, when I started making police nightsticks since then he estimates he made almost 500 nightsticks and another 200 walking sticks. He's gotten inquiries from cities in France and England,

He started making children's toys a few months ago after he became bored with making nightsticks his first effort was a wooden pull train. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

The little five car train engine, coal tender, boxcar, tanker car, and caboose are probably the most popular toy their guy will up by appreciative parents almost as fast as he can make them small wonder he sells them for $25 about half what comparable trains cost in most toy stores Mr. Hlafka says.

He also makes chunky little tugboats, blocky old-fashioned cars models of famous “Black Maria” a police patrol wagon and assortment of simple wooden animal puzzles squirrels ducks kittens range in prices for about $5-$7 anytime I see something I think I can do it's fun for me it's like a challenge to see if I can do it and maybe improve on it. I've always believed the world is limited only by the person's capacity to dream. Lately Mr. Hlafka’s, he says, and that’s helped me handle the stress of police work.

Mr. Hlafka’s dreams seem to be getting bigger he’s talking about building furniture he says he got the idea after he saw a kit for grandfathers clock advertised in a magazine for hundred and $60. Naturally he thought the price was too high. I can do it for a lot less than that he says for more information call

 vintage police billy club
Courtesy Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll
This has and is the most common place to find the "Fingerlock" grip
It is a Truncheon I bought for myself

 

A POLICEMAN'S best friend is his nightstick.
20 Nov 1960

Not, as many think, because he is busy cracking heads with it. That is one of its least frequent uses. But besides using the “Espantoon”-as the nightstick is known in Baltimore - as a weapon, the policeman also values it highly as a signal, handcuff, hammer, medical device, a toy and friend. Sgt. Ben. Askin of the Southern district boasts that in 32 years on the force he has never used a nightstick to hit anyone. "I don't need to," he says. "I use my head." The origin of the name espantoon, which is used only by the Baltimore force, has been sought frequently with little result. According to Capt. Anthony Nelligan, who is an amateur historian of the Baltimore police, the name first occurred in the police "Blue Book" of ·1907. (Note, I have since found it in Sun Paper reported Dated 18 April 1843 titled “Local Matters” in which the author writes, A man named Warren Roebuck was stooping over Armstrong to assist him to rise, a watchman came up and was about to arrest him, this was resisted by another, who raised his hand and caught hold of the espantoon of the watchmen, and alarm being made created, another watchmen to come up, and two others of the party, named Henry P Norris, and Dimes R. Perry, resisted their interference with some threats; finally all concluded, and agreed to go to the watch house, and send for the magistrate.), That said in 1960, Capt Nelligan had only previously seen it used in the 1907 “Blue Book” and said, “Before that”, he said, “the nightstick was called a baton.” Webster's International Dictionary, which agrees that the word is current only in Baltimore, relates it to the word "spontoon," and· traces it back to the Latin punctum, meaning "point," through the Italian and French. The spontoon, according to the dictionary, was a kind of half pike formerly borne by subordinate officers of infantry.
PRESUMABLY then, the nightstick is a descendant of the pike, an 18-foot-long wooden staff with a sharply pointed head of iron or steel which was the common weapon of the foot soldier until the introduction of the bayonet. Policemen say they don't like to hit anyone on the head with their stick. "Suppose a man is having an epileptic fit and gets violent," one says. "If you hit him on the head you may kill him." Their favorite target is the shins or knees. Tap a troublesome drunk across the shins, most patrolmen agree, and he'll move along. A little-known use of the nightstick is as a signal. When dropped to a concrete sidewalk, it produces a resounding ring. The quality and strength of the ring depend on the type of wood. A favorite wood is ash. Patrolman William Gischel of the Western district, laying his longer-than-usual stick proudly on the table before him, boasts: "On a quiet night, you can hear my stick for three blocks." To make his stick he ordered a piece of "heart ash" with practically no grain. Then he turned the stick himself on a friend's lathe.
THE value of the stick for signaling, says Sgt. Joseph Schramel, of Western district, is that the sound is meaningful to policemen but to hardly anyone else. This is useful, for example, in serving warrants. To do this, two policemen always go together. One knocks on the front door, the other watches the back. The ring of the nightstick hitting concrete means either that the warrant has been served, or that it cannot be served. Or it is a call for help. You don't often hear of the nightstick being used to secure a prisoner. But it's been done. A patrolman in the Southern district tells of the time when a nude man was to be arrested for indecent exposure.

Ordinarily., when making an arrest, the policeman holds his prisoner by the belt. But that was impossible in this case. The officer slipped the nightstick thong over the man's wrist, twisted it to take up the slack, and led his prisoner away.
The espantoon of Sgt. Clarence Vogelsang, of the Western district, looks as if someone had been chewing the upper rim. He explains that the ragged appearance comes from
hammering up posters. Sgt. Robert Taylor, of Northwestern district, reminisces about the time some years ago when he stopped a fleeing car by hurling his stick through the windshield. A Southern district officer tells of saving a man from serious loss of blood by using the nightstick and its thong as a tourniquet. The most frequent use of the nightstick, of course, is as, “a toy” to keep the patrolman's hands busy during the dreary hours on the beat. "You'd go crazy if you didn't have something to do with your hands eight hours a day," one policeman says. Twirling the stick becomes an important habit. In some districts the Espantoon is not carried by day shift. Policemen report that after changing from night to day shift they feel lost without their "badge of authority." They find themselves “twirling” keys. But the lack of a stick during Day shift goes back to a time, when Nightshift used a Nightstick, and Dayshift used a Daystick, the Daystick was used for everything the Nightstick was used for except, communication, during a dayshift, it would hardly be heard. The different was length the nightstick is 21” to 24” while the Daystick is roughly 12” to 14”. Eventually it wouldn’t be carried, and in more recent times a Nightstick, or Espantoon would be carried by all shifts, and like the officer’s hat, it had to be with them at all times. The Police Department orders Nightsticks from a local lumber dealer. They are made up in lots of 200, and cost 85 cents each. The policeman receives from the department an unstained stick, without the thong. The latter he purchases himself for 65 cents, and he must plaint/stain it himself or have it painted/stained. Policemen often work hard to get exactly the stain or finish they want. Patrolman John Brown of the Western district says he soaked his stick in linseed oil for thirteen months, then sanded it smooth. Sometimes policemen discard, or break the officially issued espantoon and have another made up. For years the Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney, a retired Methodist circuit rider, who lived in Essex, made sticks for individual policemen in Baltimore, Wilmington and Washington. He died last March at the age of 86. Carl Hagen, of 906 West Lombard street, is one of the few men who now make the sticks to order. AT present, a downtown sport store sells custom-made Espantoons. It also offers for sale the New York riot stick, which is two inches longer than the standard espantoon, which is 21 inches long and 1¼ inches thick. According to the management, rose and hickory are the favorite woods. Nightsticks are usually carried by policemen below the rank of lieutenant, although some lieutenants continue to keep one on their hip. One policeman made a hollow stick out of balsa wood. He got a glass liner for it and kept it in his club cellar. He enjoyed surprising his guests my breaking it open and offering them a drink from it. Most policemen will agree that when they leave home to go to work they automatically check for their four most important articles: keys, badge, gun and nightstick.
The sticks are 21 inches long, l ¼ inches thick. They are issued without thongs and unstained, and the policemen color them as they choose. It was once said that some officer’s were staining them in iodine to get a color as unique to a Baltimore Stick as the name Espantoon. In the 1960’s Carl Hagen, was one of the few men who turned nightsticks to order turning them from rosewood in his basement workshop. "You'd go crazy," one says. "if you had nothing to do with your hands eight hours a day." Patrolman John Santry illustrates some of the many ways in which the stick is carried. Handling of the stick is not taught at police school (The Academy), but rookies quickly learn the tricks. When many of us came through we were lucky to have met Sgt Schillo, he would provide training during lunch break, teaching us many of the different way to make the stick spin, twirl, or as some called it how to make the stick dance.
While questioning a suspect, a patrolman keeps the Stick in hand but out of the suspect’s reach. Always in a hand, so that is needed it could be quickly brought up to jab, or strike, most of my friends would use a jab technique over a striking technique.

 

1950

Vintage Soviet USST Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Batonussr1Vintage Soviet USST Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Baton
SEE THE STICK SHE IS HOLDING IN IMAGE BELOW
 1950s Soviet Russia Russian Traffic Militia GAI Pointsman Vintage Wooden Baton57Vintage Soviet USST Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Baton
ussr2Vintage Soviet USST Policeman Pointsman Road Traffic Baton
m1944 paintedM1944 SP

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Thats it for Now But with the number of sticks being sent in as gifts and those I buy, this will be continued for sure. Thanks for looking

Handcuffs and Restraints


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Keep checking back for a great story that will go here.. we are waiting for the informationa and conformation
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