L.A. Police Turn to a Lighter Flashlight
In 2004, a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer struck an evading car-theft suspect 11 times with his 2-lb., 2-ft.-long flashlight.
In the aftermath of that incident, which garnered worldwide attention, Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton banned the large, metal flashlights and promised to find a new flashlight that would eliminate the potential for misuse.
In November 2005, the LAPD asked manufacturers to create a flashlight that was too small and too lightweight to be used as a dangerous weapon, but that was able to provide the powerful illumination of a large flashlight and was extra durable.
After a few months of taking bids from companies seeking to design and make the new flashlights, the LAPD selected Pelican, a Torrance, Calif,. company that is best known for making ocean diving equipment, including waterproof flashlights.
The company eventually produced the 7060 LED, a mini flashlight that gives off significantly more light than even the brightest normal flashlights. The flashlight accomplishes this by using a unique technology that manipulates and strengthens the light beam by using the mirror cone reflector that surrounds an LED.
The brightness of the flashlight’s light and its durability impressed officers who used it in a two-month field test. “I was really impressed,” said Ron Chu of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team. “It throws light far, and it also throws it wide. It’s the best new flashlight I’ve seen in the last five years.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Los Angeles Times (03/30/07); Blankstein, Andrew; Garvey, Megan.