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January 07, 2005

Cops and also Flashlights

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In Do Elephants Jump?, I answer why police police officers regularly organize flashlights in an overhand grip (prefer you could hold a knife to stab someone fairly than an underhand also grip like you would host a fishing rod). I was asked this Imponderable on the CBS Early Showand also received 2 interesting responses from police police officers that include more indevelopment to the mix.

You are watching: Why do cops hold their flashlights overhand

Ian Rex writes:

Dave, the strongest factor, and also rather evident one, why police holdflashlights beside their head is so they don"t check out a shadow cast over theimage their looking at!!!! Try it. at night and you"ll find out!

And police officer Randy Bassett discusses the defensive uses of the flashlight:

I saw the write-up around you, and also nlinux.org, on the CBS website. As apolice officer/deputy sheriff for nearly 35 years, I"d favor to sell acorrection around why police officers hold a flashlight through an overhandgrip.

I definitely can not argue via your logic around it"s usage as a possibleweapon. An officer"s major worry is personal safety - his own, andthose about him. The ability to strike via the flashlight can not beruled out.

But at night, or in a darkened room, where, of course, a flashlight ismany most likely to be supplied, there is a much more overriding factor. The bad guy possibly equipped, and then the light isn"t likely to be used as a weapon, however canadd as a protective tool.

Many human being that are untrained in the usage of firearms (bad guys) tend tojerk the create of a gun once they shoot it. In truth, actors that areuntrained in the usage of weapons are frequently seen nearly shaking the weaponat their targain, they squeeze it so hard. That jerking action tends tomake the gun shoot low, and to the appropriate for a right handed perchild.However, at night, an untrained perchild shooting a gun often tends to shoot highinstead of low, and still to the side that they are shooting from (usuallyto the right). This is more than likely bereason they unconsciously raise thebarrel too much in an attempt to check out the front sight better.

What carry out they shoot at? The LIGHT, if a police officer is holding it. So aideal handed officer, holding the flashlight in his left hand, has theideal opportunity of survival statistically, by holding the flashlight as far upand to the left as he deserve to, for this reason the overhand also grip. If the negative male shootsat the light, the shot is likely to go even greater, and even farther tothe right (the officer"s left), therefore lacking the officer.

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I"ve been making use of a light this method at night since 1970, and I"m appalled atsome of the more "modern" training, wright here the police officers lug a small,intense flashlight (Surefire or Streamlight), via the switch on the rear,which they host under their pistol when firing. That shines a light fromthe gun to the negative guy, but it likewise makes the officer a perfect tarobtain forthe poor man, and also you"ll never before catch me shooting that way.