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Black Bear I watched an officer clear a dark building before and noticed he would quiclky turn his light off and on as he was doing so. Is there any particular reason for doing that?
That would make sense, but he was not flashing the light rapidly. He more or less turned it on and off as he searched from corner to corner. I am really starting to think he may have had a low battery.

I don’t want to assume why this officer took these actions. You may however want to consider this. A popular tactic 10-15 years ago was to initiate a search of a room using a hand held light and sweep it across the immediate area. If a suspect was identified deal with it. If nothing adverse was detected, extinguish the light and move. Then again light on to sweep another area. If a threat is spotted deal with it, if not again extinguish the lamp and move.

In a dark room you position may not be apparent to an adversary, however when you turn on your light your position has been compromised. By turning out the light and moving from that known position under the cover of darkness you decrease your risk factor from a pinpoint attack. So it was Light On, sweep, Light Off, move from the line of attack, again Light On, sweep search, Light Off, move from the line of attack, and so on and so forth until either contact was made or the room was cleared.

This method is still taught at many tactical schools and supported by many departments. It’s not a bad tactic, but it is engrossed with misunderstandings and misuse.

In the past 10 years some training schools and departments have changed their approach to a different tactic. That is, once your initial search position has been compromised by using a light device, keep the light on until the entire area/room/building has been cleared, or contact made and area secured, or contact has been made the area lost.

A better approach I endorse and many others is to use a combination of tactics based on the particular situation and conditions of the search, how large the area, what is the configuration, how many in the search (entry team) party, what type of lighting devices are available for use, etc.

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