Podcast: Should the Rule of One More be the Rule of Many More?

Years ago, one of our technical advisors told me that cops always, always needed to remember the Rule of One More. At the time, he was referring to always being wary, that some lowlife from whom you had taken a firearm, could very well have a second gun hidden away in the crevices of his or her body.

Now, let’s fast forward to today and the decision I made to interview three great veteran cops regarding their experiences with the Rule of One More for a new training video. It seemed to me that there were plenty of situations where the rule could apply not only to guns, but also knives, razor blades, hidden cuff keys, drugs, etc, etc. We stitched together a program, I think has invaluable information. For example, Herb hood, a retired former Cincinnati officer of the year, set a number of things about the rule of one more that really rang my bell.

“It’s very simple: that guys and professional criminals or criminals, gang members, terrorists, everybody is carrying multiple weapons. So let’s let’s search until we find all the weapons.”

Retired Sergeant Mark DiBona of the Seminole County, Florida, S.O. told me that you’d better be aware that in a cop’s career, there is plenty of the Yuck Factor…

“Don’t be afraid to get personal. If that means you got to get a handful of crotch, you’re going to get a handful of crotch. If that means you’re gonna get a handful of ass, you’re gonna get a handful of ass. That’s just the job that we’re in. But I would rather talk with you, than talk about you.”

All three of them pointed out how important it is for officers to be so damn vigilant with opposite sex pat downs…to have a female cop do the work on female subjects…if at all possible…otherwise, to know your department policy, to use all options to CYA if you must do an opposite sex pat down. First, here’s retired Las Vegas Police Lieutenant Randy Sutton:

“It’s not uncommon at all for a male officer to do a pat down on a female. And you know, and that’s where you give them certain techniques, use the back of your hands as opposed to the fingers, but in order to be, you know, the most effective you have to be, you have to be willing to do what is uncomfortable, you know women hide weapons in their in their breast area. They hide contraband in their bras and their panties and, so in order to be effective, I mean, in order to do a real search, you know, usually that’s done at the jail once that a prisoner is taken in but the guy on the street or the female on the street, if they bring in a prisoner who has a weapon secreted on them, not only are they in danger, but so is everybody in the jail. And believe me, weapons are missed all the time. You can ask any any corrections officer at any time on and they will tell you horror stories about how the street cops missed a weapon, whether it’s a knife or a gun or, of course, contraband.”

And Sgt. DiBona:

“Again, your safety is number one. So you want us to obtain that weapon as best as you know, as best as you can. There is not an agency, probably that doesn’t have an in-car camera by now. And probably thousands and thousands of agencies have body cameras, use those to your advantage, or call the fire department. Here is a thought, call the fire department. Have them come in just in case it’s stuck somewhere, for lack of a better word. And now you have more witnesses there to say there’s no inappropriate touching or something to that effect, or if there’s only a male officer and we’ll call the other officer over, the more people they see what’s going on. Now think about this, you call the fire departments. Now you put her in the back of the ambulance, there’s a little more privacy there. So you’re not on the side of the road. So that that may work to your benefit there, also. Now I wouldn’t suggest, because I’ve used this scenario in the police academy, I wouldn’t suggest waving a car over. And this is Hey, can you watch me like while I take this gun out of this girl’s crotch? I say because that was the answer that was given back to me. You might want to rethink that a little bit on that one. No. So but the bottom line is she says she has a weapon, you’ve got to get it.”

And now Sergeant Hood:

“Life safety first…life safety first. And  here’s several issues. Number one, we have body cameras we have in car cameras, we can call a supervisor to the scene. So if I do ever have to put my hands on somebody of the opposite sex, I can have witnesses there if I have to search for a weapon now. Now here’s here’s the deal. If I have the person handcuffed and gapped and double lock those cuffs, and wherever they’re cuffed, you know, then you can use the back of your hand search, make sure they’re not reaching in the back of their britches discharging a firearm into you or anybody else sitting in the car. And a lot applies to their flexibility because a lot of people are flexibility experts, they can get those cuffs out from behind their back, they can take their hands from one side of their hips to the other almost to the front of their body. Because they’re they’re skinny, they’re flexible, whatever the case is. So we really have to watch that and have them cuffed, gapped and double locked and wait for somebody to get there to witness it. Put them in front of the car, that in car camera or your body cam. And you’ve documented that search if you have to to make sure that person is not going to kill themselves or kill somebody else.”

I have long felt the Rule of One More has so many other potential applications. You’ve arrested subjects that are at a drug house where there are children. Since the people you’ve arrested for dealing meth, or fentanyl, heroin etc, have likely committed felony crimes… how are the kids? Are there signs of abuse, physical or mental i.e. the Rule of One More? Are there illegal weapons along with the illegal drugs? The Rule of One More. There are dogs which shows signs of abuse or neglect…the Rule of One More, it’s certainly not a stretch. To think that if lowlifes have committed one crime, you may well be able to nail them for others, right?

Finally, imagine my surprise when my editor told me he’d never heard of the Rule of One More in all the years he’s been with Line of Duty. I found that hard to believe. So I went to the top of the mountain to check it…Google. And nary a word…just proves once and for all, nothing and no one is perfect. Other than that long ago man who successfully did walk on water. And, after watching our program on the Rule of One More, trust me, you’ll never forget it. It’s all there for you in our production of the Rule of One More/ Should it be changed to the Rule of Possibly Many More? It’s Special Issue 50 and available right now via our online store at lineofduty.com as a download or DVD. The 37 minute program includes a complete trainers guide, tests and a certificate of completion. For all your online video training needs, visit us at lineofduty.com or email info@lineofduty.com. Thanks for giving us these few minutes. I’m Ron Barber and that’s Stuff You Never Ever Learned at the Academy.

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