The only way that most police flashlights can be used for defensive tactics is as an impact weapon. But The Gladius, the new flashlight from Night-Ops (a division of BlackHawk Products Group) is a different kind of police flashlight.
Though it’s by no means big enough to be used as a club, the Gladius, named for the most famous of ancient Roman swords, could give a police officer an edge in a confrontation with a non-compliant subject. The Gladius is both a powerful illumination tool and a light distraction device.
A twist of an easy-to-use rotary control ring at the back of the Gladius triggers a strobe effect. At 85 lumens, it’s a bright and intense strobe. The effect is enough to blind and disorient most attackers. Night-Ops says the strobe is tuned to the same rate as light-distraction devices. Most subjects react to the effect by stepping back and trying to shield their eyes. This gives an officer the opportunity to move unseen to subdue a non-compliant subject with a hands-on technique, Taser, OC spray, or impact weapon.
The Gladius can be used as a handheld or weapon-mounted light. Its controls allow the user to momentarily activate the light, leave it constantly on, dim it as needed, set it to strobe, and prevent it from being accidentally triggered. Night-Ops says the runtime is 70 minutes at full power, with an additional 20 minutes of partial power.
Each Gladius is factory prefocused with a reflector that creates an intense hotspot even at maximum range. The reflector and the light are sealed with an O-ring that makes the Gladius waterproof for both rain and immersion.