8 Tips for Safely Deploying Tire-Deflation Devices

A Dane County (Wis.) Sheriff's deputy is struck and seriously injured while deploying a tire deflation device.

If you're going to deploy a TDD, keep these important points in mind:

1. Get out of the road and out of the danger zone! The common denominator with virtually all deaths associated with TDD deployment is this: The officer was standing on or near the roadway.

2. Have a plan and a barricade: An off-the-road patrol car is the absolute minimum you should even consider and even that is of minimal benefit against a high-speed vehicle. Get behind a bridge abutment, guard rail, very large tree, etc.

3. Time is the critical element: You must have enough time to set up properly, deploy and then get to a position of cover and safety. If you run out of time, abort the effort. A last minute, unplanned deployment is likely to go badly and could result in your death.

4. Misjudging the speed and distance of the approaching car can be deadly: A vehicle going 75 mph is traveling 110 feet per second. A 100 mph car is covering the distance of a football field in two seconds.

5. Do not assume that the vehicle will continue in a straight line: Many bad guys panic and swerve at the last minute when they see the spikes on the road. An out of control car is just as deadly as a bullet.

6. Practice, practice, practice, and do it before you have to do it for real: Understand how the device works, how much distance and reaction time is needed. DO NOT simply watch a manufacturer video and consider yourself trained.

7. Use extra caution when considering nighttime deployment: The ability to judge speed and distance of a vehicle at night is dramatically less.  

8. Finally, remember that no pursuit is worth your life: When it comes to TDD deployment, if in doubt DON’T! You’ll have another opportunity to get the guy. That’s just how it works in the world of policing. 


What’s Important Now Goes Beyond On-Duty Time

Even on our days off, we should always remember: What’s Important Now

Safety Starts at the Top

Command staff should set the example by wearing body armor, following safety protocol

Self-Aid Can Save Your Life

Are you prepared to treat your own injuries?

The Magnitude of Loss

On May 14, 2014, I watched what seemed to be an endless line of police motorcycles as they slowly thundered down a Washington, D.C., street in two columns. T...

December End of Watch

Eleven officers died during the month of December, bringing the preliminary death toll for 2014 to 118 according to our partners at the Officer Down Memorial...

There is No Secret to Officer Safety

In today’s society, people spend countless hours and millions of dollars trying to find “the secret.” The secret to success. The secret to ...