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Flash/Sound Diversionary Devices

NCJ Number
J A Kolman; S Heal
Date Published
5 pages
This police training document instructs police officers in the types, uses, and potential dangers of flash/sound diversionary devices.
A flash/bang diversionary device produces a loud bang with a brilliant light that intended to cause confusion and distraction to provide a tactical team with a few seconds of advantage. Police agencies that provide these devices to their personnel should combine a course of instruction in their use with supervised practical field training. The proper use of flash/bang devices has already saved the lives of police officers as well as suspects. The use of such devices, however, entails some potential hazards for suspects, innocent bystanders, and the police. One potential hazard is a fire should the device land on combustible materials. If it detonates on loose material, the material may become airborne. Detonation also produces a lot of smoke that may be noxious after exposure for more than a few minutes. The handling of devices that are deployed, but do not detonate also poses a danger to police officers. The use of flash/bang devices is likely to receive close legal scrutiny, so officers who deploy them must be able to show their knowledge of the device and their training and experience in its use. Questions and answers on the material are provided along with drawing of cross-sections of two types of flash/bang devices.


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