Cop flashlights were a big mystery to me. “Why do cops hold their flashlights with their hands?” I often wondered that. I always held mine under my hand, but I was always curious when I saw cops holding them over their heads. It seemed like such a strange practice that I decided to find out why they do it today.
If you’ve ever attended a forum on policing, you’ve probably read that cops hold their flashlights overhand because it feels more natural than holding a flashlight underhand. Also, it’s easier for a cop to draw his weapon when he’s holding it in his hand in an emergency.
But if police officers hold flashlights hand-held in an emergency, can they hold those same flashlights underhand when there is no emergency? Well, here are a few reasons why cops overhand their flashlights that have nothing to do with emergencies at all.
What is the reason why police officers hold flashlights overhand?
Police officers have several techniques they use when it comes to going out on patrol. Here are 7 reasons why.
1. To enforce their authority
One of the reasons why police officers hold their flashlights may be to assert their presence and influence. They may appear more aggressive/fearful or let everyone else know they are in control.
2. They were trained that way
Right. They are basically trained to handle flashlights this way. You’ve probably seen a police officer standing next to you with a < held over his hand. But why? Is that regulation? A cop who once worked in a police department told me that the police department actually mandates it.
3. The flashlight can be used as a less-than-lethal weapon
Secondly, it can be used as a baton if you bring your fist down in a hammer blow and hit an attacker with the flashlight’s head shield or use the flashlight’s barrel like a baton.
4. To disorient a criminal
Another good reason police officers hold their flashlights above their hands is that it is easier for them to see the “criminal” (person) they are trying to arrest. Also, they do it so that the light from LED shines directly into the criminal’s eyes.
They want to make sure the criminal can see well enough to understand verbal commands if necessary.
5. Keeping the light in a position easily seen by all can prevent accidents
It allows them to illuminate the area in front of them and see around corners and into the distance. This also helps to prevent accidents. It is much easier to shine the light down into a vehicle as a self-defense measure with this grip.
At the same time, you would have to twist your wrist uncomfortably to keep the light at the right angle when holding your hand down.
6. The switch falls easily under the thumb in that position
No police officer wants to be caught off guard by an attacker. In the event of a surprise attack, an officer can quickly retaliate by holding up his flashlight, turning it on in seconds since the flashlight switch is closer to the thumb in this position.
Since the power button on some flashlights is located on the back of the flashlight, it is convenient to hold the flashlight with the upper hand and leave the thumb on the button.
Holding a flashlight overhand allows you to protect your head and neck better if someone tries to hit you.
Holding a flashlight underhand leaves you exposed, and if you suddenly raise your hand to protect yourself, the flashlight is no longer pointed at the threat.