Broken Arrow police looking into allegations about employees

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 11/14/2013 9:34 pm Published: 11/14/2013 3:20 pm

A common police tactic is under fire.

On Wednesday, FOX23 learned how several Broken Arrow Police officers were being investigated for their use of weapon-mounted flashlights.

Now FOX23 has learned it's not uncommon and, some say, safer.

The issue at hand is a flashlight that's mounted to a gun.

Several other departments use them and they tell FOX23 they are vital in making sure officers see the suspect before the suspect sees them -- especially in the dark.

Capt. Ryan Perkins is a member of the Tulsa Police Department's special operations team.

Perkins has been in numerous dangerous situations over the years and knows having the right equipment is vital to keeping him and his team safe.

One of those is a weapon-mounted flashlight.

"Officers use it to be surer of what they're seeing and to more easily identify the suspect, what he's doing or what he isn't doing," Perkins said.

Perkins says it's important for officers to have the most information possible -- and the dark can be a disadvantage to them.

Each officer in the Tulsa Police Department is also issued a separate duty flashlight.

"We wouldn't want our officers using a weapon-mounted light -- an extension of their firearm -- for utility illumination," Perkins said. "If I'm going to search for something under a car and it's not a lethal-force situation, I would use my hand-held flashlight."

While Tulsa uses these types of lights, the city of Broken Arrow is currently investigating several of its officers for the possible use of unauthorized equipment or weapon-mounted flashlights.

“I think different departments have different ideas about what they want their officers to be doing, from a tactical and operational perspective,” Perkins said. “It would be hard for me to speak as to what some other department wants to do."
So far, no disciplinary action has been taken by the Broken Arrow police department.

They are simply looking to see if there was a policy violation of some sort or if orders weren't followed.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 11/15/2013 10:00 AM
1 Vote
It's against policy because it results in accidental shootings. Why has no one mentioned that? of course TPD says it's "safer" because they put themselves before the people they "protect." They have to make up a lot of excuses for pointing guns at people who should not have guns pointed at them, and then another story when their gun goes off while they fiddle with the light. Dig deeper for facts, folks.

Unwashed Mass - 11/14/2013 5:16 PM
2 Votes
It's always a "personnel matter" until someone dies. Police using their guns as flashlights is a disaster waiting to happen.
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