POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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Page 30 of 72

28 POLICE JULY 2018 pect, or your spotlight shining directly on the car you have stopped for a traffic in- fraction. Let's look at the example of the dark-colored car being observed by the witness leaving the area. As the vehicle left the parking lot it went directly under the street light and our witness could tell it was a dark blue car because there was enough direct light from the street light TYPES OF LIGHT T here are three types of light sources you need to be familiar with to un- derstand low light. Ambient light, reflec- tive light, and direct light. Ambient light is the light, whether it is manmade or naturally occurring, that is present in the environment in which you are working. An example of manmade ambient light can easily be seen in urban areas. Even when there are no street lights present in an area, there is still enough light present to be able to see certain things and make out certain shapes and objects like a person, a dog, or a vehicle. From a distance, urban areas seem to glow and stand out from the surrounding darkness in the landscape. at "glow" is the ambient light being cast into the sky from numerous light sources in the city. Naturally occurring ambient light is the light that is present naturally, like the moon shining at night. However, even when the sky is overcast and there is no moonlight shining through, there is still ambient light present in most areas. If you stand outside in the dark on a moon- less night, after a few minutes your eyes will start to adjust to the dark and you'll start to be able to see things and make out shapes and objects like a tree or a big rock. Because of ambient light you are rarely in total darkness. Even if you were to close the door in a windowless room, ambient light would find its way to creep into the room under the door, or through some other crack or crevice. Reflective light is light that is bouncing off of other surfaces. Like a street light's glow bouncing off of a light-colored car, making it more visible than the dark col- ored SUV parked right next to it. How many times have you taken a description of an offender's vehicle where it was de- scribed as "a dark colored car?" Dark colored. What does that mean? Dark green? Dark blue? Dark gray? Be- cause of ambient light the witness could tell the vehicle wasn't white or some other light hue, but there wasn't enough ambi- ent light present or reflective light bounc- ing back from the surface of the vehicle to be able to tell the difference between a dark green vehicle and a dark blue vehicle. Direct light, is just that. It's light that is shining directly on an object. An example would be your flashlight shining on a sus- simplifying t h e d u t y h o l s t e r made in the u.s.a. X - C A L I B U R TM The X-Calibur works with your body's natural mechanics, incorporating the Science of Human Factors to produce a secure, fast, and intuitive duty holster. p o i n t b l a n k e n t e r p r i s e s . c o m overhead shining on the vehicle to be able to distinguish the difference between dark blue and some other dark color. USING LIGHT W ith your flashlight you can quickly replicate the three elements of low light. If you go into a darkened room, turn your flashlight on, and shine it on the wall in front of you. By doing this you have created direct light on the wall from the flashlight. If you look behind you while keeping the beam from your flashlight directed ahead of you, you will see ambient light has partially lit up some of the rest of the room. Although not as bright as the wall in front of you that has the direct beam of light shining on it, the ambient light allows you to see some of the rest of the room. We don't ever want the bad guy to have the advantage in any situation, especially in low light. Turn the lights on and ruin his night vision. Working in Low Light PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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