How to Frisk a Suspect

Ever wonder what the police are doing when they frisk someone? Here's a run down. This should only be done if you have the authority to do so or you may end up on a charge of harassment or indecent assault.


  1. Image titled Restrain suspect Step 1
    Restrain the suspect. If you have no handcuffs, have them place their hands on a vehicle or table, pull their legs back and spread them, so that if they attempt to raise up, it's easy to subdue them.
  2. Image titled Pat suspects oute garments Step 2
    Using your hands, pat the suspect's outer garments, looking for anything which may be a weapon. If a weapon is felt, you have probable cause to go in to the pockets.
  3. Image titled Dont be afraid Step 3
    Don't be afraid. Search between the legs, around the belt line, anywhere a suspect could hide a weapon.
  4. Image titled Place suspect under arrest Step 4
    Place the suspect under arrest, take him/her in to lock up, and book them.


  • Unless you're a law enforcement officer or a security enforcement officer, you could face prosecution for frisking someone, especially without reasonable suspicion.
  • When frisking someone of the opposite sex, do so in the view of another law enforcement officer, and using the back of your hands.


  • Do not identify yourself as a law enforcement officer or security enforcement officer unless you are one.

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Categories: Careers in Government