POLICE Magazine

JUL 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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L 16 POLICE JULY 2019 Last month POLICE conducted a sur- vey on the use of lights, optics, and laser sights in law enforcement opera- tions. e survey, which was open only to working law enforcement officers, yielded some interesting data on the tools in use today by police agencies. In 1997 when two heavily armed bank robbers wearing bullet-resistant armor engaged dozens of Los Angeles police officers during the North Holly- wood Shootout, the officers were armed with duty pistols and shotguns that were largely ineffective. at incident and 9/11 led to agencies issuing rifles to their patrol officers or allowing them to carry their own personal rifles on duty. Today, any bank robber in body armor shooting it out with police just about anywhere in the United States would be facing rifles. RIFLE OPTICS And a lot of those police rifles would be fitted with optics to enhance officer ac- curacy. More than 73% of respondents to our survey said they have optics on WEAPON LIGHTS ere was a time, not too long ago, when many agencies restricted the use of weapon lights to special units. SWAT officers had high-end weapon lights on their long guns and K-9 handlers had pistol lights so that they could light up targets with one hand while maintain- ing control over their dogs. Back then some agencies believed that patrol offi- cers would point their pistols at people EXCLUSIVE POLICE SURVEY: WEAPON LIGHTS, OPTICS, AND LASERS Officers say they are using a wide variety of tools to improve situational awareness and firearm accuracy. DAVID GRIFFITH Do you have an optic on your duty rifle? 74% Yes 19% No 7% I Do Not Have Access to a Rifle on Duty If your agency issues patrol rifles, does it also issue an optic for each rifle? 49% Yes 39% No 12% Does Not Apply their patrol rifles. A little more than 41% of officers who responded said their agencies actually issue optics for their patrol rifles. Agencies and officers are willing to make a serious investment in optics for their rifles. More than a quarter of the officers responding to the survey said they spend $300 to $499 for their rifle optics. More than 9% said they spend as much as $750 for their duty rifle optics. If you use an optic on your duty rifle, how much did you pay for it? More than $1,000 Less than $300 $300 to $499 $500 to $749 $750 to $1,000 Nothing; the Agency Issued It 15% 28% 10% 4% 2% Yes 72% 28% No Do you have a weapon light on your duty rifle? ➔ PHOTO: FR ANKLIN R AU/HT TPS://FSR AU.SMUGMUG.COM 41%

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