POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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30 POLICE JULY 2018 higher as you walk but it's very stealthy. Try it yourself on a gravel driveway, and you'll immediately hear the difference between walking heel to toe and placing your feet flat. Combine it with picking your knees and feet up higher than nor- mal, and you can cover almost any terrain quietly. It looks a little odd, and you can't walk a mile using this tactic, but it will easily muffle your movements and allow you to move in the dark. LIGHTS ON I f you find yourself tasked with search- ing a building or residence in the dark, the first thing you want to do is turn the room lights on. You could walk through the building using these tactics, but I think we can all agree that it's a lot easier, and safer, to search an area that's well lit, rather than trying to work our way through it in the dark. If someone is hiding in a building, they usually have the advantage of being in the area longer than you. It takes the average person 40 minutes for their eyes to adjust to the level of light they're in. For us cops, our eyes never fully adjust to the level of light we work in. We've got computer terminals in our cars, passing headlights, our flashlights, and a number of other light sources that affect our night vision, so the bad guy hiding for 20 or 30 minutes before you arrive to search the building, has the advantage when it comes to being able to see better in that particular low-light environment. at's why you turn the lights on. 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, and at the very least put the both of you on the same level playing field. Here's the other thing to consider. You're a burglar, and you have this great hiding spot you picked out in the dark, and then someone turns the lights on. Now your spot isn't so good, so you de- cide to move to a better one. For those of us who hunt, we all know it's a lot easier to pick out movement in the woods in con- trast to a deer that's standing still in the brush. e same goes for burglars; they're a lot easier to spot when they're moving. Also, when that burglar moves, he's going to create noise, and that's to our advan- tage. So if you can, turn the lights on at any building search. STUPID FLASHLIGHT MOVES T his should probably go without men- tioning, but I've seen it enough times that I feel I need to mention it. Don't turn your flashlight on and look directly into the lens; it will completely ruin your night vision. I've never done it, but I assume guys do it to check the charge on their flashlights. A better way is to cup your hand over the lens and turn the light on in your hand. It will still affect your night vision to a certain degree, but not as dra- matically as looking directly into the lens. ere are even officers who turn their flashlights on and shine them in other officers' faces. It's happened to me more than once. I'll be in the dark with a couple of officers formulating a plan when one of Working in Low Light

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