Third Degree: Blue Baton
Throughout the past 10–15 years, force-on-force simulation training has steadily increased in popularity. Using carefully designed scenarios and safety procedures, participants often use non-lethal training weapons such as paintball, airsoft or Simunition FX and inert OC spray. Many officers engaging in force-on-force training have seen a significant gap in their realistic use-of-force options during these scenarios with regard to their ability to safely introduce and use a realistic striking instrument.
Previous options during training scenarios have often limited the trainee’s ability to realistically carry and deploy an expandable baton due to designs, which amounted to little more than PVC pipe wrapped in foam. Some training programs removed the baton entirely as an available force option. Neither are acceptable options because they fail to prepare an officer for the necessary motor skills and decision making needed when the time comes to use a baton during a real-life street encounter.
An experienced Canadian police officer and trainer has come up with a solution. Clive Milligan has been a police trainer for more than 20 years, focusing on use of force and officer survival, including scenario-based training methodologies. Milligan realized the need for a training baton that would allow officers to practice the motor skills necessary to access, deploy and strike padded role players in the most realistic manner possible. To address this problem, Milligan started his company, Blue Training Systems, and developed the Blue Baton.
The 21" expandable Blue Baton looks similar to the expandable batons used on the street by officers all over the world, but it’s made of a combination of high-impact, resistant nylon and flexible, synthetic rubber instead of metal. It has a foam grip and includes interchangeable end caps of both the standard and Hindi-style, depending on the user’s preference.
Unlike other training batons, the Blue Baton fits into most holsters or scabbards designed for actual expandable batons. It’s deployed in the same manner as other expandable batons, which provides the officer and trainer the value of real time and actual action. The only difference between the operation of the Blue Baton and many real expandable batons is the manner in which it’s closed. Because of its rubber and nylon construction, it must be closed by twisting the sections instead of striking the end on a hard surface.
Although it only weighs approximately 90 grams, the Blue Baton can cause injury if it strikes an unprotected area on a role player. Padded suits such as Redman, FIST, Blauer or others are necessary to protect role players who may receive Blue Baton strikes. The Blue Baton may also be well suited for expandable baton familiarization training in academy settings where many inexperienced recruits may be learning and practicing baton skills against training bags in relatively close proximity. Gloves and protective eyewear are recommended for bag holders in the event of errant strikes.
The Blue Baton is exclusively distributed by SetCan. The retail price is $69.99 and includes a one-year warranty. If the striking end of the Blue Baton breaks after the warranty expires, replacement tip sections are available for $9.99 and reportedly take only about a minute to install. Check it out and give your officers a cost effective and realistic striking instrument to use during training scenarios.
• Realistic deployment and use
• Usable in force-on-force or bag training
• Cost effective
• Interchangeable tail caps
• Twist closure is different than many real batons
Blue Training Systems