In past September issues, POLICE Magazine has covered considerations for edged weapons instruction and the ways laser technology can improve officer safety and accuracy. Here's a look at the pages of POLICE Magazine 10 and 20 years ago.
Rethinking Knife Training
This article opens with the statement, "Many agencies don't have policies about carrying knives or a training program to teach officers how to use them and defend against them. That's a mistake."
Learning how to prevail in an attack is listed as the most important aspect of knife training, followed by understanding that a knife is a very deadly weapon that every officer should take seriously.
The author goes on to point out that officers are more likely to come up against someone using an edged weapon than a gun and should therefore train for what to do in such a situation. Especially since "in the hands of a skilled or even unskilled person, an edged weapon can be just as deadly as a gun," cutting right through most body armor.
One of the most important topics to cover in knife training is where you're likely to encounter edged weapons. Top danger zones include domestic calls, where kitchens and garages harbor various sharp tools, and bars, where people who know they can't bring guns inside might secret a knife instead.
Many law enforcement agencies still do not provide officers with knife training, which can definitely put them at a disadvantage on duty.
Set Your Sights on a Better Tactical Edge With a Laser
Officers still debate the pros and cons of laser sights for duty weapons, which this article covers. It opens by explaining that since their introduction in the 1970s, laser sights had become easier to use and maintain and more reliable.
"While many in law enforcement continue to view laser sights as little more than expensive toys, laser sights can provide a tactical edge in many situations." Simply seeing the laser dot can convince subjects to back down. Laser sights can also aid in an officer's aim, especially when firing from unconventional stances, when on the move, and when firing around or over cover. A laser is also a helpful visual training tool at the range.
Variables that can limit the effectiveness of a laser sight include ambient lighting, reflectivity of the target, and the eyes' adaptation to the dark. Then there's also the laser's wavelength, power output, energy density of the aiming dot, and whether the laser's mode of operation is pulsed or continuous.
An important point to keep in mind: "Always keep in mind that, although a laser sight can provide many advantages, it isn't a substitute for the development of traditional marksmanship skills. Having a laser-equipped firearm doesn't reduce the need for training."