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NCJ Number: 206786 Find in a Library
Title: Fight with White Light
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:52  Issue:6  Dated:June 2004  Pages:26-28
Author(s): Eugene Nielsen
Date Published: June 2004
Page Count: 3
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examined the use of white light as a tactical resource.
Abstract: Adequate light is necessary to locate, identify, and evaluate and engage threats. A research study conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department found that officers have difficulty in distinguishing between lethal and non-lethal objects in levels of light less than that produced by 0.5 foot candles, i.e., routine working conditions at night. Even during the day, there are many situations in which officers will face conditions of reduced or inconsistent lighting. Visual acuity is further reduced by the fact that the suspect or officer is in motion prior to and during an officer-involved shooting. The effects of stress and fear also cause adverse affects to one’s vision. A powerful flashlight or weapon-mounted light is absolutely essential. White light is not only essential for illumination, but it can provide a tactical advantage over an adversary when employed in a sound manner. The application of high-intensity light can impair anyone who looks directly into the beam and temporarily disorient the individual, giving the officer the critical edge. A powerful light can provide a non-lethal force option and reduce the level of force that’s necessary to bring a suspect into compliance or custody. A flashlight is still essential as a back-up tool and for general illumination tasks. White light should be used intermittently with varying placement of the beam, duration of on time, and angle of the beam. The goal is to locate and identify threats while creating an illusion as to the officer’s actual location. It is important to remember that suspects don’t worry about identifying their targets clearly before shooting; therefore, if they can be located first, violence will be lessened.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Searchlights; Visual communications
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