September 24, 2021

Firearm Upgrages

Firearm Reviews, Updates, & Product Alerts

How do you train for low light encounters?

Gun Ranges are well lit.

Creating policies and procedures can take out a big chunk of your time and your day especially in law-enforcement agencies as there is a lot to consider. The policies and procedures need to help officers control each and every device they have on patrol except for the flashlight, as this is often forgotten about. This causes an issue as due to different advancements in lighting specifically ones that law-enforcement agencies use. Officers’ decisions and their encounters can have implications criminally and in every day life. It causes misunderstanding and misuse from a lack of training and information on lighting systems.

The lack of detail in ability to see in low light as well as the concept of sensitivity is one of the most crucial points to take into account when dealing with low light vision. For example if you place a dark object in front of a dark background even during the day this can be hard to see properly and you will struggle to identify the objects in front. So when you have a dark object in front of a dark background paired with low light conditions it can be so much worse. Not to mention that it can get worse and distorted from things like flashing lights and reflective surfaces as these can affect vision. This can decrease the viewpoint of the officer as well as struggling to notice proper movement and objects. When you also look at contrast sensitivity with the visual issue perceptions, these can escalate situations which can end in bad and sometimes fatal mistakes. Low light conditions and not being able to see properly for the officers paired with potentially escalating, tense and uncertainty where weapons may be present and involved in the situation can lead to mistake-of-fact shooting from the officers present. Leading to unnecessary deaths.

One of the most important things to think about when training for low light encounters is what type of flashlight you are going to use. Different types of flashlights can cause concerns . When you are entering a difficult situation you need to be able to clear obstacles in your way and maintain your duties while also carrying the flashlight in your hand. If you end up tucking the light in your arm or putting it on the floor while you get in position you are then wasting valuable and crucial time. So there’s lots of things to consider when getting your flashlight things like the power source, how bright it is, what type of lights they are like LED. These things will help you choose a truly tactical light for your needs and make sure it is as safe as possible for you. 

It is always encouraged to officers that while they are on duty and using a flashlight that they keep it away from their centre line when conducting searches indoors or out. It is important to remain tactile and on the ball. When you walk into a situation where you can potentially have no idea how many people are there and where they are located, there is some stuff that can then help you. So if you’re holding your flashlight in your centreline you are very publicly showing where you are positioned this can then end up with people firing at you. So keeping the light away from your body and out of the way as much as possible can create a harder target to hit and also confuse the suspects of where you are.

One of the most important parts of police work in low light conditions or not is communication. You need to effectively be able to communicate at all times while being as helpful and descriptive as possible. For example if you are searching the house for a suspect you need to be able to communicate where you are and what they need to do. So, in this example if the suspect is hidden behind a door. Then you need to be able to be clear on where they are located as in poor lighting things cannot be as obvious.

To help tackle low light issues enforcement agencies should regularly be training officers of night vision and incidents. As well as having regular checks to make sure everyone is up-to-date on their training and need no further help. There should also be training in decision-making for shooting or not. The enforcement officers who are involved in shooting investigations or use of force investigations should have any lighting and night vision issues available to them to include during the investigations to flag the importance.