Los Angeles Police Commission Approves Flashlight Policy

January 11, 2005

Los Angeles: After a great deal of dialogue with members of the community and the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Commission approved a policy relative to the officers’ use of flashlights. The policy reads:

The Primary use of the flashlight is for illumination purposes. The use of the flashlight as an impact device is discouraged by the Department. However, under exigent circumstances, and when the use of the officers’ baton is not feasible, the flashlight may be used as an impact device. Consistent with the Department’s Use of Force Policy, any use of the flashlight as an impact device shall be reported, with an explanation as to why the flashlight was used in lieu of other impact devices. The reason for the use of the flashlight as an impact device will be critically reviewed.

Police Commission President David S. Cunningham, III, stated, "This policy is the result of months of dialogue to reach a policy that is clear and meets the needs of the community as well as the LAPD. I am very pleased that we were all able to work together to create a new policy that will benefit everybody concerned."
John Mack, President of the Los Angeles Urban League, attended the meeting and expressed his support for the new policy and commended the Police Commission for its diligence in taking positive steps following the June 23, 2004 Southeast Use of Force incident.