POLICE Magazine

JUL 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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18 POLICE JULY 2019 just to illuminate them, even when they had no justification to draw their weap- ons. Today, the use of weapon lights is becoming more common for officers of all assignments. More than 70% of respondents to our survey said they have weapon lights on their duty rifles. On the pistol side, nearly 90% of officers said their agen- cies allow the use of weapon lights on their duty pistols and more than 68% said they have a weapon light on their duty pistol. e majority, nearly 43%, of officers who responded to a question about what they paid for their rifle lights said the lights were actually issued by their agencies. Most officers pay less than $250 for their rifle lights, according to the respondents. Our survey also yielded results that say police leaders are no longer worried about officers using their duty guns as flashlights when they aren't justified in pointing a deadly weapon at someone. More than 40% of respondents said their agencies issue lights for duty pistols. Officers who buy their own duty pistol lights are likely to pay between $100 and $199, according to the respondents. LASER SIGHTS Our survey shows that weapon lights and rifle optics are widely accepted in law enforcement. When it comes to la- ser sights and pistol optics, however, agencies are a little more restrictive. Only 32% of respondents said their agencies allow them to use laser sights on duty. Even more revealing was what respondents said about using laser sights on duty: more than 87% said they do not use laser sights on duty. But maybe agencies interested in re- ducing police use of deadly force should look into issuing officers laser sights. Of those who use laser sights, 16% said they have been able to deter an attack, de-es- calate a confrontation, or persuade a suspect to surrender just by putting the laser dot on them. We asked for the respondents' stories of such confrontations, and they are fas- cinating. Here are some examples: • "I found out you get approximately 80% compliance when advising the ac- tors to follow commands when pointing the laser at center mass." • "I've had a number of encounters with people who have either attacked someone with a knife or were confront- ing me with a knife. Using my pistol's red laser, I made it known I was pre- pared to shoot them and would hit them if I fired. All of these encounters ended peacefully." • "After a pursuit the driver wasn't cooperative. When laser sight was used, he complied. He later remarked that he thought we wouldn't miss if we shot at him." • "Excellent on felony stops. While the suspect is facing away, we shine the laser past them to get their attention and they comply more quickly. It also helps when holding one suspect at gun- point while others are at large and I'm waiting on backup. I believe it has pre- vented an escalation in force on several occasions." • "I was confronted by a suspect with a folding knife who threatened to kill me and my partner. We both had pistol mounted lasers. e suspect noticed the red dots swimming on his chest and he seemed to wake up. He dropped the knife. Later he said he wanted to kill himself and wanted us to shoot him. If you use a weapon light on your duty rifle, how much did you pay for it? Does your agency allow you to use a weapon light on your duty pistol? Do you use a weapon light on your duty pistol? If you use a weapon light on your duty pistol, how much did you pay for it? Nothing; the Agency Issued It Less than $200 $200 to $249 Nothing; the Agency Issued It Less than $100 $100 to $149 $150 to $199 $200 to $300 More than $300 $250 to $299 $300 to $400 More than $400 43% 34% 13% 6% 3% 1% 40% 89% Yes 69% Yes 10% No 29% No 1% I don't know 2% Does not apply 5% 29% 10% 15% 1% EXCLUSIVE POLICE SURVEY: ➔ PHOTO: FR ANKLIN R AU/HT TPS://FSR AU.SMUGMUG.COM

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