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Police chief comes out against weapon-mounted flashlights


After a supervisor noticed the officers using them on the graveyard shift, he put a stop to it and an investigation was launched to see if they disobeyed a direct order by the chief not to use them.

For now, the rookie officers will no longer be allowed to use their weapon-mounted flashlights and the senior officers who do use them may have to brush up on their skills.

“There may be a circumstance where people who are allowed to carry the gun lights will have to have a certain amount of training to be able to continue carrying those gun lights,” Boggs tells FOX23.

At this time, those officers who were being investigated say they feel much better despite having to give up some of their bells and whistles.

Well, there have been at least two cases I can recall where a cop used their gun as a flashlight and it ended badly.

10 Responses to “Police chief comes out against weapon-mounted flashlights”

  1. Jim Brack Says:

    Shit happens. I mount a laser on my handgun, but not a light. I’m conditioned to point my flashlight in the direction of any noise. Not a good thing with a loaded gun. At night, I need a light but keep it off the gun. YMMV.

  2. kaveman Says:

    It’s also a safety issue for officers. An attacker is more likely to shoot directly at the source of light and most officers are trained to hold them away from COM when poking around in the dark.

  3. AJ187 Says:

    Pretty typical….change good equipment and tactics for the lowest common denominator. Same reason they got rid of the choke hold. One less tool for the tool box…whatever.

  4. Bobby Says:

    Fakkin retoddz.

    Nothing quite like make threat identification *harder* …

  5. Kevin Says:

    I’m sure that shooting one handed towards a vague moving shape in the darkness never ends badly.

  6. Critter Says:

    This will not end well for the department in question. A recent Supreme Court decision held that an officer *must* visually identify their target before turning a pill loose. This has resulted in much more low light training and an explosion of new lights and dinguses to mount them on than ever before. Any department that *orders* its personnel to dimount lights is setting itself up to write some big checks in the future.

  7. Windy Wilson Says:

    I thought the accepted principle was to point the gun where you’re looking, as otherwise there’s a delay between seeing the target and engaging the target. That said, having the light on the pistol and using it as a flashlight to look around seems entirely the same as using the scope on your rifle to glass around looking for a deer. Glassing a fellow hunter like this is a major sin, and can get you a dinnertime visit from the aggrieved hunter for a gun safety discussion if he notices you doing this.

  8. mikee Says:

    I say if you need illumination, make it bright enough to temporarily blind, make it move in the direction you are observing, and make it armored against attack.


  9. Kevin Says:

    As was pointed out to me years ago, most criminals can’t hit anyone during the day, their shooting at a really bright light shining in their eyes isn’t likely to increase their accuracy much.

    Try doing a shoothouse at night with the lights off. Search using a hand-held and a weapon mounted light, reset and move around the targets between runs. Use targets where you have to identify their having a gun before you can shoot them, so ensure someone throws in a few similar targets without weapons. See what your speed and accuracy rate is, both in terms of hits and correctly IDing the targets.

  10. Geodkyt Says:

    The only issue with a weapon mounted light is if you use the WML as a SEARCH sensor, rather than as an FC sensor.

    I see the myth about “They’ll shoot right at the light and hit you!” is still alive and well. . .