Call them truncheons, coshs, billysticks, nightsticks, prods or what-have-you. Shorter than a Simple Staff, different enough from a generic club to be distinct, the baton is the melee Weapon of Choice of cops, guards and their ilk. Depending on the portrayal on the police force, a baton can be:
- A heroic weapon (for truly righteous cops)
- A standard issue Red Shirt weapon (especially against heavily armed crooks or supernatural menaces)
- A symbol of fear (especially on Dirty Cop - or a whole army of 'em)
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- One Piece: Marine Captain/Commodore/Vice Admiral Smoker wields a Big Fancy Jitte tipped with Seastone to better fight Devil Fruit users.
- In Cyber City Oedo 808, the three Boxed Crook protagonists (who are working off their sentences as "special" officers) all carry collapsible red jitte. In the second OVA, Gogul even uses his to identify himself as law enforcement.
- Ex-cop and brutal vigilante Americop in the Captain America comics carried a baton as a major part of his arsenal.
- This was the entire schtick of Nightstick and Daystick, a pair of thuggish vigilantes from Joss Whedon's run on Runaways. As their names suggest, they wielded batons.
- Sleepwalker had a supporting character named Nightstick, whose gimmick was a pair of batons strapped to his forearms.
- Judge Dredd carries a daystick as part of his standard equipment. He's an expert with it, with one rookie noting that when she was failing her Applied Violence course, she found every single video clip of Dredd armed with a daystick she could find in order to brush up. In more recent years, it's been upgraded with a titanium core to counter perps wielding chainsaws.
Film - Animated
- Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo features Inspector Zenigata keeping a Jitte as part of the shrine to his police officer ancestors. He later uses it to arrest the movie's villain.
Film - Live Action
- In Like Flint. General Carter's Z.O.W.I.E. guards use expandable batons to fight Flint in the document incinerator room.
- In Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol a nebbishy rookie cop (played by Tim Kazurinsky) uses his police baton to totally destroy a trio of gangbangers.
- The protagonist of The Raid uses a nightstick and combat knife to deadly results.
- Inspector Ma from Sha Po Lang uses a telescoping baton, in a rare heroic example.
- In Demolition Man, in the future city of San Angeles, the police are armed with batons... which can discharge electric currents.
- In Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the police force is used mostly to control the ape slaves and all carry big sticks to beat recalcitrant apes with.
- In both versions of Walking Tall the sheriff carries a wood stick as an improvised baton and uses it as his primary weapon.
- One of the weapons used by the Precops in Minority Report are Sick-sticks. They're retractable batons that can also cause the target to uncontrollably vomit upon contact.
- The Provost's Guard in the Beka Cooper books use short, sturdy batons because they lack the lethal implications of edged weapons.
- In The Iron Dream, truncheons are the favourite melee weapon in Held. Feric Jaggar, their leader chosen by fate, wields the Steel Commander.
"The shaft as a gleaming rod of some tarnishless metal fully four feet long and thick around as a man's forearm etched all around with rich red traceries of lightning strokes, a motif which made the huge shaft appear as if it had but recently been quenched in blood. The oversize headball was a life-sized steel fist, and a hero's fist at that."
- In Nightwatch Vimes completely forbids the watch to carry coshes and blackjacks "available from Mrs Goodbody at No. 8 Easy Street, at a range of prices to suit all pockets, and should any of you approach me privately I absolutely will not demonstrate a variety of specialist blows suitable for these useful yet tricky instruments".
Live Action Television
- In one episode of CSI, a Tabletop game invented by Hodges (which features Flanderised versions of the cast) has a Brutal version of Brass who threatens a suspect with a collapsible truncheon (which he's never been shown with in the series thus far).
- Dixon Of Dock Green strongly averts the Police Brutality aspect of the trope, only using his truncheon to protect the public and generally being an all round Nice Guy.
- Hostages has Sandrine Renault aka Maria Gonzales use a collapsible baton to restrain the Sanders patriarch in the first episode by hitting the back of his head.
- The Elementary rendition of Sherlock Holmes practices singlestick for self-defense, considering it a simple and elegant fighting style. He makes use of it with a collapsible metal baton in "M." to capture the Serial Killer who he thought killed Irene Adler.
- One episode of New Tricks has Jack trying to reconcile with an old friend who has never forgiven Jack for joining The Met and cites the massed baton charges employed by said force during the UK miner's strikes of the mid-80s.
- A Season Five episode of The Detectives has the hapless duo trying to rescue their boss's grand-daughter from an environmental protest before the Met's Territorial Support Group do a raid. Or as Bob describes them due to their brutality:
"The BYOB squad; Bring Your Own Baton!"
- In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and Power Rangers Samurai, the Gold Ranger pairs a jitte with a mechanical paper lantern as a secondary weapon set. They can grow and combine into a Humongous Mecha.
- Warhammer 40K: Arbites squads carry shock batons, applied with considerable enthusiasm against rioters, mutants, and other undesirables.
- Abstergo guards in Assassin's Creed games.
- Priere from La Pucelle uses a baton to beat the crap out of her enemies. This carries to her appearances as an Overlord in later Nippon Ichi games.
- Cerberus Assault Troopers and Centurions in Mass Effect 3.
- The most obvious example, Mortal Kombat's own local cop, Kurtis Stryker, who utilizes a night stick alongside other conventional weapons like his handguns.
- In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the cyborg Dirty Cops in Denver use these.
- Captain Vor in Warframe.
- In Parasite Eve 2 the protagonist is an FBI agent (for a fictional branch called MIST that deals with mutated monsters). The weapons you start off with are a pistol and a police baton (which also happens to be the only exclusively melee weapon in the game).
- Half-Life 2: Combine Civil Protection officers wield stun batons that they use when dishing out their particular brand of justice.
- In Final Fight and Street Fighter games, Rolento the ex-soldier fights with a baton and an acrobatic, speedy style.
- In Street Fighter Alpha, Sodom has a pair of jitte instead of paired katanas.
- The Imperial Agent's Non-Player Companion SCORPIO in Star Wars: The Old Republic fights using customized electrostaffs that look like police batons, since she is essentially a robotic prison warden who spent most of her existence herding criminals on the prison planet of Belsavis.
- Final Fantasy
- In Final Fantasy XIII, most melee-type enemies of the Corps (military/police organization of Cocoon) category wield batons in battle. Some higher-level PSICOM (e.g. Huntress) and Sanctum (e.g. Inquisitrix) enemies have them, as well.
- Jihl Nabaat in Final Fantasy XIII wields a swagger stick as a weapon but isn't fought until a DLC battle in the the sequel
- Shinra Infantrymen wield police batons in Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core alongside their assault rifles. The Turk Reno also wields a collapsible shock baton fitting of his corporate thug image.
- Dynasty Warriors
- Zhuge Dan uses a Nightstick in DW 8. Fitting for a strategist with authority.
- Star Trek Online: One variety of Breen mook, the Ak'ched Guard, likes to get up close and personal with a neural truncheon. They're one of the more common varieties of mooks at Breen slave labor camps during the "Breen Invasion" arc.
- Some of the riot police Uncommon Infected in Left 4 Dead 2 are still carrying nightsticks on their belts when they encounter the survivors. Though, being zombies, they never actually make use of them.
- The original Deus Ex had two variants: A simple collapsible baton and an electric stun prod which is one of the player's starting weapons. Both of these are non-lethal weapons.
- In the South Park episode "Chicken Lover", Cartman is handed a baton when he's deputized. He uses it indiscriminantly on whoever doesn't "respect my authoritah!"
- An episode of The Simpsons had Bart go on a ride along with "Springfield's Finest". He asked one of the officers if he could see their "club". The cop responded with "It's not a club. We call it a baton." Bart asked what he does with it. "We club people with it."