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Department issued vs out of pocket

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  • Department issued vs out of pocket

    Hello everyone, im currently at a small muni dept which gave me a badge and thats about it. Im enjoying myself and learning lot only being on the streets 4 months and getting 4 weeks of FT. Sooner or later ill move to a "career department" which will hopefully supply everything. I currently have a pretty poor belt flashlight and resort to the large mag light thats in the car. I would like to by a surefire or streamlight, but am hesitant because im not sure if i will be able to use it in the future. To those of you who have department issued gear, if I buy a good flashlight will it be a good investment? My father was a LEO for 30 years at a great department which issued everything, but still the flashlight they provided as far from superior. Thanks for the help everyone, say safe.
    "Nobody asks to be a hero, it just sometimes turns out that way"

  • #2
    I'll go ahead and recommend the Fenix TK15 or other lights by Fenix.

    They put out 360 lumens and cost approximately 65 dollars. At that price you won't be out too much and worst case is you have a light for around the house. I don't know many career depts that force you to use a certain flashlight either.


    • #3
      I work for a large city pd and they could care less what flashlight, knife, cuffs etc. you carry. They do issue us a Streamlight Stinger LED and Streamlight Strion LED with wall chargers and car charger, but we can use whatever we want. The only things set in stone are our radios, tasers, and the firearm we're qualified on. As far as lights go you're going to get 100 different answers. Just know once you get outside surefire the rest are basically made in China by the same company with different names I.e. fenix, powertac, olight, eagle tac etc. if you like a larger light the Surefire R1 lawman is the gold standard. Yes it's $300, but has a surefire lifetime warranty and comes with about $150 worth of accessories. If you like a smaller light surefire fury's are $100 and put out 500 ANSI lumens. Another option is the streamlight strion it is about 2 inches shorter than the lawman/stinger and fits in my hand perfect. Another bonus is that it's rechargeable. Strions with charger and everything are around $100. Strions put out 250 ANSI lumens and have medium, low, and strobe as well.

      My strion's switch just went to ****, so while I'm sending it in for warranty I picked up a powertac warrior. It is 650 lumens, but not ANSI, has strobe, medium, low and a side button for instant strobe and mode switching. It takes rechargeable 18650 batteries and has a lifetime warranty. Most Chinese lights have **** warranties and you have to send them to china. Surefire has the best warranty period. Streamlight, foursevens, and powertac all have US based warranty service and are top notch. I honestly wouldn't even consider a light from any company other than surefire, streamlight, foursevens, or powertac. Sure would suck to get dead light in the box or a week later and have to mail it to china.

      Anyway, John is a great guy and owner of he knows more about flashlights than anybody I've ever come across. He is retired PD and is very helpful, if a light would be **** for duty hell tell you. He has helped me a ton with the last few purchases. I recently purchased a foursevens qp2l-x for a back-up/off-duty light from him and the Warrior.

      ANSI is the standard for measuring lumens. Surefire, streamlight, and foursevens are some of the ones that use it as a standard practice. A Surefire or ansi rated light will be much brighter than a comparable Fenix because fenix measures the lumens out the front instead of using the ANSI method.




      Warrior w/ rechargeable kit:
      Last edited by SCSU74; 12-28-2012, 04:21 PM.
      In Valor there is hope


      • #4
        My (medium/large) dept. didn't issue lights. I use a Streamlight Stinger DS (dual switch) and have had zero issues with it. It came with a wall charger and a car charger and that's helpful. It's been dropped a thousand times and works like a champ. Strongly recommend Streamlight. Also get a small backup/off-dity light. I have a little 5.11 light that takes a single AA battery and I use it a lot more than I anticipated I would. I clip it in my pocket off-duty and it's proven useful on countless occasions.


        • #5
          My PD issues us the Stinger DS LED and I haven't had any issues with mine. Its a great light! We can carry whatever light we want but I choose to use their free light. Like SCSU74 stated, if they go down getting them fixed is not an issue.
          Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!


          • #6
            My agency will issue a badge, ID card, TASER, ASP if they have any, and sidearm (unless you want to carry your own approved weapon). New vests come every five years.

            Everything else like flashlights, clipboards, pens, etc you can get through you $35 a pay period uniform allowance. The allowance is taxed as a benefit.
            Last edited by KenW.; 12-28-2012, 10:02 PM.
            I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

            Douglas MacArthur


            • #7
              My agency issues flashlights and many other things on a piecemeal basis, largely based on the whims of specific offices and often to only select people. I've never seen anyone here denied the option to carry a personally owned light.

              I like the Inova T4 myself. Docking station rechargeable, Lithium-Ion batteries, 303 lumens, high-medium-low-strobe functions. No tailcap switch though...which to me is a plus.


              • #8
                I am not aware of any agencies in my area who give a crap about what light you carry. It mostly comes down to price and personal taste. I carry the smaller Streamlight Strion on my belt and the larger one in my squad. I like being able to recharge the lights instead of burning up expensive batteries and both are quite bright. Make sure you have a back up light on you somewhere (the whole 2 is 1 thing). I have a Surefire 6PX in my pocket and like it because it fits my belt holster if needed.


                • #9
                  You can always use it around the house. I've got tacticool lights all over the place. I used one last night to find a remote that I dropped under the bed.

                  I've worked at a department where I had a company credit card and could buy whatever I wanted, within my assigned budget (that I also managed), and I've worked at a department like you say where I was only given a badge. I had to pull teeth to get them to make me an ID card, lol. Most fall somewhere in between.

                  Regardless, over time you'll end up buying junk many times over. I have boxes and bags of cop crap laying around. Leather/brass, leather/nickel, nylon, uniforms, jackets, you name it. The flashlights have been incorporated into daily use, I wear a pair of Danner boots and a velcro inner belt with my scrubs in my RN job, a pistol and tac light has become a dedicated home defense weapon, and I use one of my jackets when I'm out doing yard work. I've been seriously contemplating wearing my 5.11 tactical pants casually too a sin I never would've waged before, lol. But gosh those pockets are handy.


                  • #10
                    My department issues everything. I chose to use the equipment issued to me. Before you buy anything you should read views on it. Just because something is the latest and greatest doesn't mean it will last forever or that it is very reliable.


                    • #11
                      My agency issues a maglite rechargible flashlight with wall adapter and all cars have the car charger in them. That being said, I would never post out with only one flashlight. I have a rechargible streamlight strion on my belt at all times, plus a light on my handgun, plus my maglite, plus a Pelican 7060 LAPD light, plus an assortment of CR123 powered lights throughout my car and on various vests/rigs.


                      • #12
                        Streamlight Stinger LED is what I broke down and purchased. It's worlds ahead of the mag lite. I recently was issued a 5.11 tactical 1 minute recharge lights. I personally don't like it and keep using my trusty Streamlight. The 5.11 is too light and feels chintzy, plus I like the beam of light the Streamlight throws versus the 5.11.

                        Anyway, get a light. Even if you don't use it at work it'll be something for the home or garage. I currently have 3 flashlights in my unit. And yes, there was once a time when I drained all three.


                        • #13
                          I have had a fenix TK11 for a couple of years now as well as a 4 D cell maglite with a drop in 700 lumen bulb. Everybody likes these little bright flashlights nowadays but on a car stop in the middle of the night it is nice to have a big hunk of metal in your non shooting hand. If I were to buy another small flashlight today I would buy the fenix TK15. For the money, fenix is an outstanding flashlight. Whatever you are interested in checkout a forum called candle power. The people on that forum are nuts for flashlights. They review everything in great detail and they will be able to help you out in finding a great light at the best price.

                          Last edited by SHU; 01-02-2013, 12:25 AM.


                          • #14
                            The mission drives the gear. The gear provided may or may not be up to par. When it is be thankful. The rest of the time, most of the time, invest in it. And while some folks are bound to take issue with this advice depending on what gear comes to mind, flashlights are certainly inbounds.


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