Monday, 20 August 2012

Police Search Light

            Sometime back I was reading a book on either Kubotan or Yawara sticks for police used. The author was stressing the fact that while searching as suspect the weapon could be kept in hand ready for instant use should the suspect make an aggressive move. It occurred to me that this author had actually missed a trick here. A suspect’s pockets can be full of all sorts of nasty things including infected needles, so initially examining the interior with a stick like object rather than your tender flesh isn’t a bad idea. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if one end of that stick mounted a small magnet. That train of thought reminded me that some models of pocket torch have a magnet on their base, allowing them to be stuck onto metal surfaces such as car bodywork. A small torch is quite a handy thing to have while searching a suspect too.

            My original idea evolved into a small torch with a magnet mounted at one end. It needed to be robust enough to be used as a striking weapon like a Kongo. It needed to be slender and long enough that it could be used like a wand to search suspects. Thin but long would also facilitate many of the Kubotan lock and restraint techniques. Unlike many of the available compact flashlights it would need a switch or button so that it could easily switched on and off without changing grip. Given that many cops use flashlights in an “icepick”-style grip there might be virtue in giving the design dual controls. The obvious place to carry such a tool is a breast or sleeve pocket so the light should probably have penclip too.

            A relatively new innovation in tactical flashlights are crenulated bezels. The first examples of these I saw looked rather like cookie-cutters and I was a little dubious since they seemed designed to increase the severity of damage without contributing much to the self-defence capabilities of the flashlight. I could see some immoral lawyer claiming it caused cruel and unnecessary damage. There now seem to be a wider variety of more sensible designs. I like the three-pronged example on the left. If the flashlight is placed bezel down it would cast quite a bit of light over the surface that it was standing on, which might be useful.

            I have another potential application for this compact police light. Arrests often degenerate into cop and suspect rolling around on the ground. Your gun is of little use in such a situation. It may provide the suspect with a weapon to use against you. This is why some cops are trained to eject their magazine and render the pistol incapable of firing if things become a wrestling match. There are ways to use a nightstick in ground fighting, but the chances are you dropped that or it is on your belt and difficult to draw. In such situations the compact police light I suggest, carried in a breast pocket and accessible with either hand could prove very useful. 
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