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Shazam February 9th, 2014 2:17am

When walking though a dark building with electricity, TV and film cops often decide to use their flashlights instead of turning on the lights. Any idea why?

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mikeey1962 on SOH where else
02/10/14 11:37 am

Lights are too hard and too much time to set up

listgarten SF Bay Area
02/08/14 9:54 pm

Besides what Susan said below, using a flashlight is a good way to surprise any people in the house, because it's harder to aim a weapon when you're staring straight into a bright light.

DaveL
02/08/14 10:34 pm

Wouldn't you just shoot at the light? Seems like it is easy to see them coming when they have a light. I was taught to hold my flashlight far out from my body and over my head with the gun in my other hand just for this reason.

listgarten SF Bay Area
02/08/14 10:54 pm

I'd guess much harder to see a bright light from one location then if the cops turned on the light. Then it's super easy for the bad guys to see. You know how in the movies they use bright lights in people's faces to interrogate them...

listgarten SF Bay Area
02/08/14 10:54 pm

...and so the suspect can't see the interrogators? I'm thinking that it's the same idea.

DaveL
02/09/14 11:51 am

Ok, I can see that, but what are the chances you hit the bad guy in the eyes as you walk through the door? Seems much more likely that you just give away your position with indirect light. Any cops here to chime in?

listgarten SF Bay Area
02/09/14 11:55 am

The flashlights can be mounted onto the end of a weapon, so then when you swing your gun around, you're pointing flashlight + gun at bad guy. Takes only a second to scan a room

DaveL
02/09/14 7:24 pm

How long do you think it takes a guy hiding in the dark to take a shot at the light? I still think it is a bad idea.

listgarten SF Bay Area
02/09/14 7:31 pm

It's much better than turning on the lights in a room.

susanr Colorado
02/08/14 9:32 pm

If it's a crime scene, there are multiple reasons related to (a) looking for evidence and (b) not disturbing evidence. Some things like footprints, stains etc. are better seen in concentrated oblique light. Fingerprints or blood spatter on

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susanr Colorado
02/08/14 9:32 pm

light switches could be disturbed by turning on lights with switches.

RBecker17 The Sultan of Rum
02/08/14 9:15 pm

Things such as this are not made to be questioned.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
02/08/14 7:36 pm

I'd do the same, even in my own house if I thought there was an intruder. With the lights on, they can see as well as me. With the flashlight I control what and when they see, and with the light in their eyes, they don't see much.

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Serox The Paradise
02/08/14 7:33 pm

Because... Movies! That's the point of a movie lol to make it more interesting.
There's always tons of non-sense stuff that happens in the movies.

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Torfin Never Behind
02/08/14 7:25 pm

There are multiple reasons. Carrying your light source means nobody can turn it out and leave you in the dark. Attention can remain in the search instead of being diverted to finding switches. Lights that are not turned on do not need to later be

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Torfin Never Behind
02/08/14 7:27 pm

turned off (avoiding a complaint). The main reason however, is the flashlight being carried is extremely bright and used to dazzle the subject of the search giving advantage to the officer.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
02/08/14 7:34 pm

TOR - sounds plausible. I was a cop in the Army for 5 years. You turn on the lights. If you don't, your flashlight serves as a beacon to where you are. It also helps prevent folks from hiding in that one shadowy area you missed. It's dumb & dangerous

Torfin Never Behind
02/08/14 7:37 pm

Also good points. I think it really depends upon the situation.

eLucidate writing
02/08/14 7:22 pm

The flux capacitor?

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Emily33 North Carolina
02/08/14 7:21 pm

Turning the lights on wouldn't be as suspenseful.

usernamehere Raise a little hell
02/08/14 7:19 pm

So they don't alert anyone in the building? Idk.
Also it looks really intense and stuff.

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firefly5 the verse
02/08/14 7:19 pm

dramatic effect.

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Shazam Scaramouche, OH
02/08/14 7:21 pm

They do it on COPS to. Drives me nuts.