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American COP March/April 2010 - Page 47

lumens Feature-Fat suzi Huntington used knock-off (cheap) batteries. Either way, these are excellent examples of the Cheap Bastard Rule: If you try to do things cheaply it’ll cost you in the long run, and cops are notoriously cheap bastards. Spend the money on top quality batteries and when they need changing, change all of them. You should also look for batteries that have PTC (Positive Tempurature Coefficient) technology. Basically, PTC is a built-in safety device that limits the amount of current, which can be drawn, keeping the batteries from overheating and causing a catastrophe. Now add to the mix all the features many lights offer; one light comes with two switches, one on the barrel for constant-on and the other on the end-cap for momentary-on. Another requires you to press the on/off switch a number of times to work your way through low, high, strobe, blue and red modes. Still another must be operated with two hands to dial through the same series of modes. I’m waiting for a light that’ll require me to hop on one foot while rubbing my belly with my right hand and waving my light like Tinkerbell in my left before it’ll turn on. I wonder if some of the improvements really are just that — an improvement? Is there really a need for a strobe mode, or different colors? How often do you use them? When it goes to poop will your big paws that will now only function at gross motor skill level be able to press the switch to the mode you need? Let’s take a look at what’s available for your use. Hopefully we’ll help you process this feature-laden overload. There are basically four sizes today: Big (think Streamlight SL Series), Medium (like the Stinger), Small (like a SureFire Lumamax) and Micro (think SureFire Titan). While we can’t cover everyone and every model, we’ve tested a wide array to meet many different price points and this will give you a quick overview of these critical duty tools. WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM 47

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