It was 20 years ago, and I can still remember it clearly. My partner and I were on a domestic violence call; the parolee ex-husband was at the caller’s house in violation of the TRO. When we tried to take him into custody, the fight was on. During the ensuing struggle, the ex-con unsnapped my holster and yelled at me he was going to shoot me — with my own gun. I managed to put him into the ground, but still struggled to gain control and get him handcuffed. The tools on my belt consisted of a 24″ baton and a can of OC, neither of which I was too keen on using in this tight situation. I prevailed using open hand techniques coupled with the strength of youth, but I sure could have used another force option.
Things have changed during my career and cops now benefit from more force options previously not available. The newest tool comes in the Krudo SNAG 2.0 Folder Controller. It’s one of the most unique force options I’ve seen in a while. The brainchild of martial arts expert and knife designer Louis Krudo, the SNAG is probably unlike anything you’ve seen or used before. Louis designed the SNAG over a dozen years ago but didn’t patent it until 2010. Since then it’s been gaining steam in the LE community as a new tool worth considering.
You may look at the pictures and say, “What the … ?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone — it’s the typical reaction from most street cops seeing it for the first time, especially those of us without martial arts training. The SNAG is basically a pain compliance tool, or as Louis likes to call it, a pain management tool. You manage the suspect through the administration of pain.
Fully opened, the SNAG 2.0 Folder Controller’s S-shape looks like a cross between a karambit and scimitar, and it’s from this fully opened position I’ll describe its features and benefits. The ring is for placing your finger to help keep the tool in your hand regardless of how wet or slippery your hand may be. The nub on the ring is meant for use on pressure points or bony surfaces as a means of pain compliance. Just above the ring on the outer hump of the SNAG is a foldout lever used as a thumb support. The inside of the non-sharp blade is jimped to make grabbing and gripping easy work. The blunt tip is also used on pressure points to gain compliance.
Looking at the tool in the closed position you see the opening lever looks like a small claw; it’s also jimped to help with grip and is another means of applying pain to pressure points. The SNAG 2.0 can be used open or closed and the pocket clip can be moved to either end on both sides, so it’s only a matter of you figuring out how best to carry it.
The Krudo SNAG 2.0 Folder Controller looks
like an ordinary pocketknife.
Short Learning Curve
Historically, there’s been a large gap between having to go hands-on (fight) and using a less-lethal tool. Most currently used options are bigger (taking up more space on an already crowded gun belt) and require some distance between you and the bad guy to be used effectively. But what about when you’re already up close and personal? This is where the SNAG can really shine and bridge the gap between wrestling/fighting and using other tools/weapons. Fighting usually results in officer-injury, and using other less lethal options seem to routinely bring excessive force complaints and lawsuits.
It only takes about half a day’s worth of training to learn how to use this tool effectively. From a training sergeant’s point of view, I find this very appealing; any tool that’s easy to use and train with is a good thing. Louis has staff to train your trainers — they come to you. Your trainers will receive hand-on training and given the skills (and literature) to then train the rest of your personnel. You can use fixed blade polymer training controllers, but using the Folder Controller you’d carry in the field to learn the proper draw stroke to open it.
Pulling the SNAG out of your pocket
begins to reveal its karambit-like shape.
The jimping on the blade and the ring help you grab and control,
while the nub on the ring and the blunted blade allow you to apply
pain “management” to pressure points.
While still new to law enforcement, there aren’t a ton of agencies using the SNAG, but there are a few. Sgt. Nick Rios, who works for a medium-sized police department in Florida, helped adopt the SNAG Controller for his agency. As a D-Tac guru who’s trained with just about every tool cops are allowed to use, Sgt. Rios saw something in the SNAG he felt was unlike anything his cops had available to them. He told me it was relatively easy training his officers on the tool’s use and they’ve had great success with using it in the field. Every officer carries the SNAG tool in a pocket, just like a knife. It’s quickly deployed and can be configured for either hand on either side of the body.
Administrators are hard pressed to know about every new idea or piece of equipment coming to market, and there’s no blueprint for getting them to look into what’s new. I’m lucky enough to have a chief and captains who are open to new ideas and make decisions based on logic. If you’re interested in checking out the SNAG for your agency, I recommend you go to the Krudo website and watch the videos — how simple is that? Then give Louis a call, he’ll be happy to answer any questions and send you T&E samples. Take the time to learn how to use the SNAG 2.0 Controller Folder; I’ll bet you’ll quickly see their benefits as a less-lethal option.
By John Russo
For info: www.americancop.com/company/krudo-knives
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