Sunday, January 11, 2009
Police Equipment From The Past.
Los Angeles, CA—I noticed that the uniform pockets of most local L.A. area police uniforms had sap pockets. I asked some of the coppers if they carried saps. They all did not even know what a sap or a blackjack was. I felt like a real dinosaur knowing I was old enough to be the father of these grown officers.
They carried other items in the sap pockets like flashlights or collapsible ASP batons.
Blackjacks are round and saps are flat. They are impact weapons designed for close up and personal combat. The bigger blackjacks will smash skulls and break bones. The idea is a person can be subdued with these impact weapons in short order.
I own five of these law enforcement relics in good condition. The two best I have are the Convoy blackjack and the Texan sap. I also have a great pair of deerskin gloves with six ounces of powered lead protecting each fist.
Saps were great to use for plain clothes assignments because regulation police batons are too difficult to conceal.
These weapons are outlawed for civilian possession in many states. They became a sore point (no pun intended) with minority groups and by the early 1970s were outlawed for police use. They became a public relations nightmare because of their effectiveness.
I have used both saps and blackjacks in street combat and found them to be helpful in causing aggressive suspects submit to arrest. I also found that often the mere display of a blackjack or sap was as counter-productive as waiving a red flag at a bull.
During the Blackjack Age, many suspects who were truly fearless wound up in dire need of dentures or suffered broken bones and fractured skulls with those associated neurological disasters.
In 1967 pop singer, singer Jimmy Rodgers was pulled over by an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer on the 405 San Diego Freeway. It was widely believed that the officer struck Rodgers in the head with a blackjack. Rodgers had little memory other than to say he was attacked. Rodgers endured a long recovery and rehabilitation period. The city settled out of court for $200, 000.00.