Swiss Army Knives
Improved LED Flashlights for Law Enforcement
Today’s law enforcement agencies can take advantage of the newest technological advances in many different ways. Not only can those who fight crime have access to devices that seem to come right out of James Bond spy movies, they can use equipment similar to what’s used on television’s CSI drama series. Manufacturers of the latest in police gear have announced some surprising inventions that are now available, but perhaps still a little difficult to get. However, within a year these devices should be easily accessible, and within a few they may even be “standard issue” for many police departments. Many seasoned police veterans may wonder what could possibly be new with regards to flashlights to make their job easier. Well, heavy duty flashlights and tactical flashlights used by police can now do more than shed light on a scene or a perpetrator.
Since LED police flashlights are the tool of choice in many areas, some companies have simply focused on making them even more dependable and sturdy than they already are. They’ve been dropping the flashlights from 30 feet to test durability, submerging them to check for an ability to stay waterproof, and timing not only the shining time, but the overall life time of the batteries. There are now dozens of suppliers of police flashlights that provide specific product specifications, including the wattage, lumens, scope of light, and hazardous condition defense. As with any product, however, the best thing to do is to determine local and user needs and compare what’s available to what the budget may allow. Some tactical or heavy duty flashlights may cost as little at $40 each, but some can go up to $200-not including battery chargers, holsters, clips for attaching to clothes or duty belts, or built-in extras.
The most important aspects of police flashlights would be ease of use and dependability, since they must continuously function under high-risk conditions. Certain LED models claim hundreds of hours of light use, convenient on/off buttons, and an almost indefinite life span. Even though all offer consistent light without dimming, LED flashlights can vary by size and weight. Some officers may prefer the lighter ones, while others may prefer the heavier, as they then can be used as a weapon. One department may wish to use only the high-intensity white LED light bulbs, while another city’s force may wish to utilize the advantages of colored LED bulbs for night vision, checking blood trails, or signaling. It’s clear that different police departments, and even different officers within the same city, could face a range of dangerous situations. These call for specialty police flashlights. Almost every officer would be able to utilize a flashlight that can cut through smoke and offer adjustable beams of light, but there may not be as frequent a need for the more upgraded features on a regular basis. There is a model that contains a pepper-spray canister, a flashlight that can detect metal (vibrating and flashing a red light when encountering metal), one that creates glow-in-the-dark patterns, and even styles which provide beacon or strobe-light effects. Plus, to further enhance weaponry, police flashlights are now providing laser-aiming devices, gun mounting capabilities, and shotguns hidden within the flashlights’ bodies.
A police department which is considering flashlight replacement should take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade; never before have so many features been available. ~Ben Anton, 2008.
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