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Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.


Using Light To Illuminate Threats

Weapon lights and laser sights can help you identify and intimidate threats in low-light conditions.

August 29, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

Photo: POLICE file
Photo: POLICE file

The vast majority of police shootings occur in low-light conditions. Even when officer-involved shootings happen during the day, they often take place in dark areas such as poorly lit warehouses, interior hallways, and inside shuttered buildings.

That's why light can be one of an officer's most valuable allies in close-quarter battle. A tactical light helps you identify and neutralize threats. It also prevents you from dropping the hammer on a fellow officer or a civilian who is not a threat. And when concentrated in the form of a laser, light can help you put rounds on target or even intimidate a potential attacker into backing down. Weapon lights and laser sights are not just lights, they are threat illumination.

Unfortunately, some agencies will not let their officers carry weapon lights because they are afraid the officers will get into the habit of pointing their sidearms at things just to light them up. Such a concern seems silly when you consider that officers can and should carry multiple lights in the field and officers are better trained than to just brandish guns at people when such treatment is not warranted. Fortunately, many other agencies encourage weapon lights, especially on long guns, and some issue handgun weapon lights to specialty officers such as SWAT and K-9 handlers.

Agencies also have similar prohibitions against laser sights. Some administrators see these tools as "too aggressive." Other agencies have said that laser sights are a crutch for officers who shoot poorly. The truth is while laser sights may look "aggressive" to some, they have a proven record of preventing gun battles. And despite what movies and TV have shown us, they do not guarantee accuracy. Proper grip and precise trigger control are still essential for putting rounds on target.


PHOTOS: Weapon Lights, Laser Sights

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