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You Strobe, I Strobe, We All Strobe Together

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 34 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2007 Pages: 8,10,12,16
Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published
May 2007
4 pages
This article describes the law enforcement use of strobing lights and discusses how they work to momentarily gain a tactical advantage over a suspect.
Strobe lighting can have powerful tactical effects when used by law enforcement officers against a combatant suspect. Strobing is accomplished using a handheld flashlight with a flashing feature. It can be pointed at a suspect to disrupt their balance, short-circuit their perception, cause them to look away, and cause mental confusion. Officers can employ strobe lightening to disorient a suspect and then quickly move in to subdue them. The science behind strobing is examined, which explains how the human brain needs continuity in order to correctly process information since it is the brain, and not the eye, of the human that perceives motion. When strobe lighting is employed, the continuity of stimuli is disrupted and may cause The Bucha Effect, in which a person experiences dizziness and confusion. Researchers for “Law Enforcement Technology” conducted an experiment to discover if an officer’s shooting ability is disrupted when they use strobe lighting against a suspect. The experiment suggested that shooting using strobe lighting is not much different from shooting under other types of lighting conditions. The author asserts that the strobing tactical light is one of the best upgrades on the market for an officer’s toolkit. The article also contains a textbox that describes four different types of strobing lights for law enforcement. Exhibits