Tactical Briefs #11, November 1998
The Law and You: Guidelines for Interacting with Law Enforcement OfficialsA 9-page pamphlet containing tips about how to interact with police officers who've made law enforcement contact with you is available for free from Allstate Insurance Company. The pamphlet is a mutual product of Allstate, the National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). It was originally developed by the NAACP to help black teens know their rights and to know what to do to keep themselves from exacerbating an encounter with police officers.
Although the advice offered in the pamphlet is directed at young people, whose immaturity and inexperience in self-control sometimes allow their emotions to get the best of them, the advice is equally valid and applicable to all citizens who desire to minimize the consequences of any law enforcement contact.
The pamphlet describes its objective as follows:
"Today's headlines are full of stories detailing encounters between law enforcement officials and young people. Unfortunately, some of these stories do not have happy endings. While most officers of the law have standard procedures to follow, most young people do not. As a result, there is often a breakdown in communication between law enforcement officers and young adults.
"In a collaborative effort, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and Allstate Insurance Company have joined together to develop 'The Law and You: Guidelines for Interacting with Law Enforcement Officials.' This guide offers suggested procedures to follow if you are stopped by a police officer or law enforcement official, regardless of the reason. These suggestions should be used as guidelines until professional legal advice and guidance can be obtained."
In the first section, titled "The Cardinal Rule," the following general advice and background information is given:
"The easiest way to avoid negative run-ins with law enforcement officials is to simply stay out of trouble. If you hang out with the wrong crowd, you increase your chances of being approached by officers in pursuit of those suspected of, or associated with, criminal activities. If confronted by law enforcement, approach the officer as you would a friend, not an enemy.
"REMEMBER, THE FIRST WORDS SPOKEN BY EITHER THE OFFICER(S) OR THE CITIZEN(S) INVOLVED MAY VERY WELL DETERMINE THE TONE OF THE ENCOUNTER AND EVEN THE EVENTUAL OUTCOME.
"Law enforcement is both a difficult and dangerous profession. Many police officers are killed each year and thousands more are injured. Police are trained to place a great deal of emphasis on their safety and survival. In some instances, the safety procedures that officers use may appear offensive and unnecessary to citizens. However, police know that even the most routine stop for a traffic violation has the potential for danger. Consequently, the officers may maintain a defensive posture until they believe that the risk of confrontation or injury is diminished. As a result, there is sometimes a breakdown in communication between law enforcement officials and the public, especially young adults. If you are stopped, questioned or detained by a law enforcement official, approach him or her with respect, not disrespect. It is in your best interest to cooperate with the law enforcement official, even if you feel you are being unjustly stopped or questioned. Retain your composure and conduct yourself in a mature manner. Avoid any action or language that might trigger a more volatile situation, possibly endangering your life or personal well-being."
The pamphlet goes on to provide simple, common sense guidelines for dealing with the following situations:
- If you are stopped on the street
- If you are stopped in your car
- If law enforcement comes to your door
- If you are arrested
- Officer misconduct and your response
If you're a firearms instructor, this pamphlet would make an excellent student handout. We also encourage individual citizens to obtain a copy. Single and multiple copy quantities can be ordered free of charge by calling Allstate Insurance Company at 1-888-505-4677.
Equipment and Techniques to Help You Master the Night with a Handgun
Being able to function proficiently in darkness is an important home and personal defense capability, yet many people who keep or carry a handgun do not properly equip or train themselves to be able to perform effectively and safely in low light conditions.
A high-intensity flashlight is a mission critical tool for home defense and should also be considered by those who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun in public. A flashlight enables you to illuminate and visually identify potential threats. A flashlight also permits you to more safely confront a threat at gunpoint and engage a threat by gunfire, if needed, during conditions of low light and darkness. These are the primary purposes of a flashlight when used in a personal defense context.
We feel the Surefire 6P flashlight, by Laser Products, is the best flashlight you can use for home and personal defense applications. The 6P is a small, lightweight but powerful flashlight. (Surefire also offers three other models that are based on the 6P design: the C2 Centurion, E2 Executive and G2 Nitrolon flashlights.) The 6P style flashlight easily fits into the palm of your support hand, and is powered by two Duracell CR123A lithium camera batteries. Its pushbutton momentary On/Off switch is conveniently located on the tail cap; the one location where it can be quickly located and manipulated without hunting to find it. It is also one of the most inexpensive SureFire flashlights offered by Laser Products.
Laser Products also offers a slightly longer Surefire flashlight, the 9P (now discontinued but replaced by the D3 Defender), which uses three lithium batteries and is brighter than the 6P. The 6P-type is probably the best choice for most people, but if you have large hands, the 9P/D3 might be easier for you to manipulate. Also, the 9P/D3 can also be converted to operate on only two lithium batteries by changing the lamp assembly from model P90/P91 to model P60/P61 and purchasing a Surefire model Z20 DL123A battery spacer (providing the same illumination performance as the 6P while allowing you to save money on batteries). Replacement batteries for both the 6P style and 9P/D3 flashlights can be purchased from many supermarkets and discount department stores like Wal-Mart or K-Mart.
There are also the specialty SureFire 6Z, C2, G2Z, M2 and Z2 two cell Combatlight flashlights and 9Z, C3, M3 and Z3 three cell Combatlight flashlights, which Laser Products promotes as being optimal for use with handguns. (These lights are more expensive than the 6P/D2/G2 and 9P/D3 models.) The Combatlights are meant to be employed using Surefire's proprietary two-handed "Rogers/Surefire assisted flashlight technique." (You can learn about this particular technique by visiting the Laser Products web site. We provide a link to their web site on our Courtesy Links page.)
Finally there are the Surefire 3P/E1 flashlight (too small) and the rechargeable Surefire 6R, 8X and 9N flashlights. Aside from being more expensive than any of the lithium battery powered flashlights described above, the 6R, 8X and 9N can be dangerous to use in home and personal defense situations. The reason is because the rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries do not give any prior indication that they are about to lose power. Your first clue that the batteries are exhausted is when the beam suddenly dims and then extinguishes in a matter of seconds.
Whereas with replaceable lithium batteries, when the beam starts to dim from bright white to yellow, you have ample advance warning that it's time to replace the batteries. Lithium batteries are good for about an hour of continuous use, and they start to go dim after about 35-45 minutes of load time. They maintain a charge for years, compared to the slow and constant electrical discharge of rechargeable batteries.
What makes the Surefire 6P (and D2, E2 & G2 models) and 9P (and D3) flashlights most desirable are their cheaper price and the ability to easily and inexpensively modify them for personal defense and concealed carry use, making them superior in overall tactical utility when compared to the 6Z (C2, M2 & Z2) and 9Z (C3, M3 & Z3) Combatlight models.
We also feel a modified Surefire 6P (and D2, E2 & G2 models) flashlight is superior to a dedicated handgun mounted flashlight because it is much less expensive and more versatile. The 6P-type flashlight is safer because you don't have to point the muzzle of your handgun toward anyone to determine if they are a threat or not.
The Surefire 6P (D2 & G2) and 9P (D3) flashlights can be modified by adding a tail cap lanyard ring and an adjustable battle carry lanyard. With this modification, the flashlight can be securely attached to the palm of the support hand in the proper position and orientation to instantly use, but it also leaves the fingers of the support hand free to instantly perform other tasks when needed.
The battle carry lanyard requires the use of the Harries two-handed handgun/flashlight shooting technique, which is a more natural and comfortable manner for grasping the flashlight than the Rogers/Surefire method. The Harries technique is similar to the Weaver Stance, except that the back of the support hand is pressed firmly against the back of the shooting hand. This technique enables the support hand to hold and operate the flashlight while simultaneously providing isometric stability to the shooting hand.
To clear a handgun stoppage when using a full-size Mag-Lite-type flashlight, you usually stow the flashlight under the armpit of your gun hand to free your support hand to manipulate the gun. With Surefire Combatlight style flashlights, you're supposed to simply release your grip on the flashlight to free your support hand, and allow the Combatlight to dangle unrestrained under your wrist on its lanyard while you manipulate the gun to clear the stoppage.
With both the Mag-Lite flashlight and 6Z/9Z Combatlights, after you've cleared the weapon malfunction, you then have to grab the flashlight in your support hand, orient it in proper position to use, and then acquire a two-handed shooting stance to re-engage the target with precision aimed gunfire. The same process is required when you need to reload your gun or for any task that requires you to let go of the flashlight to use your support hand.
When using a 6P/9P-type flashlight equipped with a battle carry lanyard, should you experience a handgun stoppage while you're under attack, the support hand can be instantly used to clear the stoppage without fumbling with the flashlight at all. Once the stoppage is clear, you can re-engage the target using the Harries technique. The same is true for reloads and any other task that requires you to have the fingers of your support hand free.
The battle carry lanyard exploits economy of motion because the flashlight is securely attached to the palm of your support hand in a manner that does not require the fingers to maintain a grasp on it. Thus, your support hand is free to quickly perform additional tasks as needed. The flashlight barely interferes with the dexterity of the hand. If illumination is needed, it can be instantly employed without clumsy mishandling of the flashlight.
We were introduced to this flashlight lanyard concept by Greg Hamilton of Insights Training Center during a Low Light Handgun course. We originally purchased our first lanyard from one of his students who was making them at home and selling them. When we recognized the immense tactical utility of the lanyard, we decided to make them available to you. As far as we know, they are not presently available from any other source but us.
Click here to see photographs of a SURE-FIRE 6P
flashlight with Battle Carry Lanyard.
If you already own or are considering buying a Surefire 6P Original, 6R Rechargeable, 9P Original, D2/D3 Defender or G2 Nitrolon flashlight, you can order the Battle Carry Lanyard directly from us. You'll receive a Surefire Z26 welded tail cap lanyard ring and two lanyards. Cost is $11.99 plus a modest shipping and handling fee. All profits go to support this web site. Click on the appropriate PayPal button (below) to purchase Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire 6P / 6R / 9P / D2 / D3 / G2 Flashlight using your credit card, debit card or checking account. (Note: the Z26 tail cap lanyard ring does not fit the E2-series Executive model.)
We provide you two lanyards, not because they wear out quickly (they don't), but because this is tactical hardware you train with and depend upon to work when needed. We believe you should have a spare lanyard that's ready to install in case of a problem.
If you own a Surefire 6Z, 9Z, C2, C3, G2Z, Z2 or Z3 Combatlight or M2/M3 Millennium Combatlight, don't fret. You can modify it by simply replacing the factory nylon cord lanyard with our Battle Carry Lanyard and use the Harries technique. Cost is $7.99 plus shipping and handling. Click on the appropriate PayPal button (below) to purchase Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire 6Z / 9Z / C2 / C3 / G2Z / M2 / M3 / Z2 / Z3 Combatlight.
If you own a Surefire E2 or E2e Executive flashlight, the Battle Carry Lanyard attaches to your flashlight's pocket clip lanyard fitting with a miniature stainless steel split ring (supplied). Cost is $8.50 plus shipping and handling. Click on the appropriate PayPal button below to purchase Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire E2 Executive Series Flashlight.
Item Price U.S Orders
Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire 6P / 6R / 9P / D2 / D3 / G2 Flashlight (includes two Battle Carry Lanyards and a Surefire Z26 heli-arc welded stainless steel tail cap lanyard ring) $11.99
Sold Out Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire 6Z / 9Z / C2 / C3 / G2Z / M2 / M3 / Z2 / Z3 Combatlight (includes two Battle Carry Lanyards only) $7.99
Sold Out Battle Carry Lanyard for Surefire E2 Executive Series Flashlight (includes two Battle Carry Lanyards and two miniature stainless steel split rings) $8.50
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