Police Study of tactical use of Strobe

eh4

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Excellent article and great English.
Thanks!
 

SoCalDep

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This is a great article and discussion. I have experimented with strobe lights in a tactical training environment (I am part of our weapons training unit) as well as in the field on patrol prior to my current assignment. What I see is that strobe is today, what lasers and weapon lights were several years ago. There is minimal study and experience on the efficacy of strobe as a tactical tool, and many (most) of the lights offered today function in such a way that the strobe is too hard or unreliable to access. I think strobe has potential, but we need to study where it does and doesn't work, develop and refine tactics, and tailor the equipment to the need. The above referenced study may go far to begin to answer many of these questions.

My experience has been consistent with what has been stated above. The strobe has a more disorienting effect compared to a similar lumen constant light, though it is by no means a "fight stopper". It does provide a tactical option and can help in attaining/maintaining an advantage.

I would also be interested to see if any written study/documentation was available regarding Grizzlyb's results as it would give some clear validation to further study of the strobe concept. Lastly, and maybe I just didn't catch it in the previous posts while my two four-year-olds and six-year-old are running around me, but what flashlight make/model did you eventually decide on? I saw the comments about the holster and US marketing by Brite-Strike.
 

Grizzlyb

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Here was my reply in the other thread about recommendations for police duty lights


I hadn't yet read the newer posts in this thread before I made the post I quoted here.

Although LEO's here do have to occasionally get 'hands-on', as the poster above stated, in the US, officers tend to avoid hand-to-hand scuffles with potentially dangerous suspects. If a suspect is aggressive and uncooperative, pepper spray or a taser is preferred for subduing them, rather than closing the distance and engaging in hand to hand techniques. There's a fine line with excessive use of force, and of course, in the US, you never know who may be carrying a firearm (or other weapon like a knife), and you'll want to reduce the possibility of them gaining control of your firearm in a hand to hand scuffle.

Very often, the threat of being arrested and handcuffed is enough to quell belligerent drunks. The threat of pepper spray or a taser is even more effective. I do get the point about not wanting to use pepper spray on a crowded bus or subway train though, but even in a closed room/house, the pepper spray used by LEOs here sends a directed stream, not a mist. It minimizes the effect on other folks the stream isn't directed at.



Max

First of all, we train to use as minimal force possible. That is also written by law for LEO's.
So, arresting an aggressive person first try by hand using tactics and as little force possible. Then scale up to spray, more force (using fist or other means like baton) When You have the choice being hit by my fists or by spray, You probably choose the spray (effect is gone in 15 minutes, effect of my fists takes longer to wear of)
So, using a strobe to gain advantage during an arrest, resulting in as little force/damage possible is good for us and good for the suspect. (of course, the choice of as low force possible brings more danger to the officer, but thats the way we handle things in Holland).

We never use a tactical light to blind a normal person just to check his license or his car, never, period.
Just to gain the upper hand on an aggressor.
And yes, it comes in handy with a cone on it in traffic signaling.
Ps. We don't have tasers, and we do have a needle like spray (no mist). Still, in a hand to hand combat, in a struggle with the sprayed person, we get spray residue on our skin, resulting in dripping sweat in your eyes and get effected with the spray. Course of the adrenalin of the fight it often is not directly a big problem, but it makes Your eyes want to close in a time you really don't want that.

send from Ipad in Istanbul :D
 
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Tyler___Durden

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Thank you for a very interesting thread.
And your insights into police innovations with flashlight development
for LEO's and applied techniques.
 

Grizzlyb

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Hi Socaldep,

The TL the police needs according to these requirements, is not made by any manufacturer. We did ask many for help, but no one even repleyed. In the end we could only find 1 that was innovative enough to help. It is ready now, but still small adjustments are made, it is a developement in progress.
 
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BWX

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I'm thinking it was probably more their business model's incompatibility to offer the kind of assistance you required rather than them not being "innovative" enough to help. I don't know, I'm just thinking that there are a lot of innovative companies out there making a lot of innovative flashlights that just couldn't offer the specific help you wanted. They should have replied to you and just said that though, instead of ignoring you completely, that's not very cool!
 

Grizzlyb

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It wasn't that big a change, Momentary is already commonly integrated in many lights.
Lights with only rear swiches are also made by many. So , rebuild it with the mode start-up in Strobe (non changeable) and You have the basics of a dedicated Police TL. Put that in an upside down holster for 1-handed quick draw and Your basically there.

Socaldep,
The results of the last 7 years study are written as research papers and a project plan, but are in Dutch.
Becouse of this research the board of Dutch Police chiefs is now desiding if there is still enough money (Holland is since 5 years in an economical crises) to buy the TL for all Dutch Police officers. (50.000)
Several independed departments already bought them in 2012 and 2013 for their officers.

appart from that,
Do you think trainers like Ken J.Good and Andy Straton made any scientific research papers with hundreds of tests and years of study about there findings? I would love to read those scientific studys.
 

Poppy

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Grizzlyb,
Regarding the desire to eliminate some of the spill.
Perhaps you can have a "snoot" designed into the light. One that is spring loaded to stay in the extended position, or is pulled into the extended position when drawn from the holster. The LEO can optionally slide it back out of the way when more spill is desireable. I have seen "snoot" described as long non reflective tube. I suspect that a 3cm tube would make a significant difference. Designed as I described above would hold consistent with the concept of TL FIRST, and other uses second.

Thanks for a great write up!
 

Grizzlyb

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Hi Poppy,
Sounds interesting. Is there a side with pics? Is that system rugged enough to withstand police duty?
(the less parts that can break, the better)
thanks for the idea.
 

Chevy-SS

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Grizzlyb, thanks for the terrific info. :thumbsup: Can you pass along any tips for civilians on how best to use a strobe for disorienting someone? Is it as simple as shining directly into eyes for as long as possible? Or is one second good enough? I assume most folks will close eyes pretty quickly anyway, so length of actual strobing may be a non-issue.

If someone accosts me at night, and I strobe them for a full second or so, and then I run away - will they typically be able to run after me, or will the strobe effect disrupt their ability to run?

I am not asking how to use flashlight as weapon. We all know flashlights are NOT weapons. :rolleyes:
 
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Very educational post and great follow-up comments too. Particularly interesting that no manufacturer makes exactly what you require - even SureFire.
 

jaycyu

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Do you have plans to market this to flashaholic civilians? :naughty:
You might have to use a middle man as the vendor, in case of any mishaps that might come back to the Netherland's police department.
I'm specially interested in your driver.
 
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stevieo

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thank you for a most interesting & informative thread. I have often wondered about the tactical use of strobe. personally, I hate strobe on my lights because i can accidentally trigger a migraine if I strobe myself in the face by accident & i would be incapacitated if someone were to intentionally strobe me at night. I have a sunwayman v20c which has tactical strobe setting & uses one 18650. it has a very tight & intense center beam for an xm-l u2 and is not terribly floody at 5 meters or closer range. the flood of the beam is not nearly as intensely bright as the center spot at close range. i also have a tactical strobe on my surefire r-1 lawman. I am so glad I happened upon your thread. now I can accompany women home at night on foot rather than by automobile when i am at my central american beach place which can be quite dark at night & women should not walk unaccompanied after dark on the the town's secondary streets or beach & i prefer to avoid places where I feel a need to carry a sidearm. tactical strobe is now my every night beach carry. the occasional petty wallet holdup thief tends to be unarmed in my beach town making tactical strobe the logical carry weapon of choice.
 
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bluemax_1

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Grizzlyb, thanks for the terrific info. :thumbsup: Can you pass along any tips for civilians on how best to use a strobe for disorienting someone? Is it as simple as shining directly into eyes for as long as possible? Or is one second good enough? I assume most folks will close eyes pretty quickly anyway, so length of actual strobing may be a non-issue.

If someone accosts me at night, and I strobe them for a full second or so, and then I run away - will they typically be able to run after me, or will the strobe effect disrupt their ability to run?

I am not asking how to use flashlight as weapon. We all know flashlights are NOT weapons. :rolleyes:
It depends on the flashlight, the perpetrator and the circumstances. I have a female friend who found my EDC intriguing (the lot she parks in for work is not well lit). She decided to get one to light up the walk to her car and I showed her how I can switch modes on my light one handed.

A few weeks after she got the light, she calls me all excited. Some lowlife was hanging out in the parking lot and began hassling her, even after repeatedly telling him to leave her alone, when he began to get inappropriately suggestive, she pointed the light at him (it was on low mode), switched it to Turbo and triggered the strobe. He immediately yelled and covered his face.

She also has a Fox whistle on her keychain and she let out a blast on that. The guy immediately turned and ran away, right into the fence, bouncing off it and falling on the ground. She had ample time to get in her car and drive away and didn't have to use the pepper spray that was also on her keychain.

Then again, I've also seen a drunk guy swing wildly when he got hit with a strobe in the face, although he wasn't very close as he was swinging blind with his eyes closed. I can tell you that in a darker environment, even a flash from a light with more than 500 lumens leaves a big blind spot in their vision for several minutes. The tactical strobe is very effective at disorienting intoxicated individuals though. I've seen a couple of belligerent drunks immediately bend over and start throwing up from being strobed for several seconds.


Max
 

djw479

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Thank you to the OP for sharing these findings. Its very helpful to find unbiased research in this area.
 

Poppy

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Grizzlyb,
Regarding the desire to eliminate some of the spill.
Perhaps you can have a "snoot" designed into the light. One that is spring loaded to stay in the extended position, or is pulled into the extended position when drawn from the holster. The LEO can optionally slide it back out of the way when more spill is desireable. I have seen "snoot" described as long non reflective tube. I suspect that a 3cm tube would make a significant difference. Designed as I described above would hold consistent with the concept of TL FIRST, and other uses second.

Thanks for a great write up!

Hi Poppy,
Sounds interesting. Is there a side with pics? Is that system rugged enough to withstand police duty?
(the less parts that can break, the better)
thanks for the idea.

Sorry, I haven't seen it anywhere. I imagine that it would have to be custom made.

You might look at spotting scopes that have a "retractable sun shade" for design ideas.
 

Grizzlyb

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Friends,
I must press this point time after time. TL is not a weapon in it selve
Tactical use of Strobe, can have the desired effect if You have the right training and intention with it.
It just can give You a time advantage where-in You must act.
For LEO's it has a big advantage, becourse of there standard training and objectives.

For civilians it can be used, with the right training, and intention, to get away, or other appropriate defense action.
It is a tactical device, nothing more nothing less.
We are Dutch gouvernement officials and are not allowed to make money of research we do. We just want to help other professionals with our findings.

So, we don't sell these TL's, but I am 100% sure that manufacturers read this forum and will start make better and more dedicated lights for LEO,s. IF they have the intention of making REAL TL's for LEO's, they can find us and ask advice.

Only 1 manufacturer in Europe started to build it.
I am a guest here and respect the manufacturers that helped to build this community. So I wont go in to details about the Brand name.
 
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flashlight nut

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Great thread Grizzlyb. This reinforces what some of us have posted in previous "Strobe" threads but with much more technical data. Your agency has put more research and developement into this area than any other agency I've heard about. It is sure to help the law enforcement community as a whole. Great work.
 
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