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Flashlight has members all over the world. One of our cops in England provides a different perspective from what we face in the US. Keep in mind, while reading his story, that he’s not carrying a firearm like cops in the US. Much respect to my English cousins who do a job I wouldn’t dream of trying unarmed. -Xiphos

Why I Always Carry a Good Flashlight

About six years ago I responded to a call of a domestic disturbance. It was about midnight in a bad part of town. I arrived at the house to find a chair had been thrown out of the window and was laying in pieces on the lawn.

The front door was wide open and splintered. I drew my baton, and shouted “Police!” as I entered the quiet house. There was nobody in the lounge, and nobody in the kitchen. All the lights were on in the house.

I only had the upstairs left to check.

I again shouted, “Police! Come out!”


The upper level of the house was in darkness, as was the stairs. I left my flashlight in its charger in my police car. I presumed that I wouldn’t need it, with the house being all lit up.

I shouted again to the upstairs, and heard no reply. I began to walk up the stairs, one step at a time. Slowly. I was very careful not to make a creak or squeak.

I took a few more steps and estimated I was now about half way up the stairs. There was pitch black darkness above and in front of me. A long way behind me was the safety of the lit hallway. I still didn’t have a flashlight, and I really needed it.

Although I was alone, I decided to shout the old favourite, “Police K9 unit! Come down or I’ll send up the dog!” I had no dog, it’s a popular bluff among cops.

A voice about ten feet away at the top of the stairs said slowly, and menacingly, “Send the dog up, I’ve got something for it!”

Fear is NOT the word for it!

I stepped backwards retracing my steps. Another police officer had arrived and was standing at the bottom of the stairs with his bright “SureFire6P” flashlight shining up at me.

I leaned to one side to allow the beam to shine on the top of the stairs. Sitting at the top was a man in full combat fatigues holding a five foot spear in both hands.

If I had continued up the stairs I would have been speared or stabbed in the head or neck.

He was eventually arrested by SWAT without any police officer being injured.

From that day, I’ve always carried a powerful flashlight on my duty belt. At the moment, my duty light is a Gladius Nite-ops. Great bit of kit.

So far I have managed to get home at the end of the day to my wife and children. Thank God.

Thought I’d share that story with you guys..

Stay safe…

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  1. pgg Says:

    I’m glad to see you did not continue up the stairs. This is a good reminder to officers, if they are armed or not, to always carry a back up flashlight on the belt. Either you will forget your primary light or the batteries will go dead.

  2. Cidp24 Says:

    Close one! Before I got a light small enough to carry on my belt, I could not count the times people asked why I got out on calls in the daylight with a flashlight. Never be without one.

  3. lewisipso Says:

    I have also made it a habit to carry a light with me on duty all the time. Glad it worked out for you.

  4. Jenna Says:

    That’s scary! Glad you made it out safely!

  5. Code6 Says:

    I am a firm believer in the rule of multiples. I carry three flashlights with me at all times on duty. I have a Surefire X300 on my duty weapon, a Streamlight Stinger on my duty belt and a Surefire Aviator in my cargo pocket. My Department provides a rechargable baton, err Maglight in the patrol car.

    One of my oldest friends told me when I was in the academy,”IDENTIFY THE THREAT, otherwise you might not go home.” I believe that is sound advice.

  6. Cidp24 Says:

    Great article – before I got a light small enough for my belt, I frequently got asked why I carried a flashlight on calls in daylight. You never know.

  7. Buttercup Says:

    That was a very close one, I’m glad that you made it out safely.

  8. slamdunk Says:

    Had to chuckle–as we were known to threaten the use of a K-9 with no dog to be seen. It is always a good trick to have in the toolbox.

    Score one for the good guys.

  9. Iron Head Says:

    I dont know that I could do what you do without being armed, my hat is off to you. I to carry a primary flashlight with a backup on my belt.

  10. John Comp Says:

    It was 1982, I was a cop in the Bronx, when we responded on a 10-13 assist P.O. She had chased a guy into a building and he emptied a bunch of shots at her, wounding her. We were the first on the scene. She pointed to the roof. We cleared thr roof and used my $3.00 flashlight to checkout the attached roof. Only by the grace of god and a full moon did we see that the roof was burned out. Had we jumped onto the roof we would have gone down 5 stories. Next day I spent $100.00 and bought the first generation streamlight. Now, after 35 years in law enforcement, I carry a Fenix attached to my belt.


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