Q&A with Ken Good

LET talks with an expert about the issues and advances in low-light training and technology

     Good: Good training, good experience, knowledge, simulation; you learn to see in reverse. Projecting yourself downrange and seeing for yourself how the potential adversary sees you. That is the biggest thing you can do: Learn to see yourself as an opponent would. If you haven't been in good training or good simulation, that's impossible. We can talk about it all day long and we can mentally ascend to it. [For some it takes being] shot in the back, in the side, or in the front and having the opportunity to ask, "How did that happen and why? What were my assumptions just prior to this engagement?" Undergoing the analysis process in which you chip away [at what you did] to learn to inculcate that capability and answer the question, "What do I look like in reverse?" I want you to get out of yourself and your own world and see it from a more global viewpoint. Ultimately, the biggest mistake is only seeing the world through that tube that represents the light cone.

     LET: How do you assess the current state of light training in law enforcement agencies?

     Good: I'd say there's been an upward trend to pay a whole lot more attention. I've heard the horror stories that, "We don't get any training," and I've heard the success stories that, "We've implemented this and it's made a difference." I know of several major departments that have implemented additional or reprioritized training and brought in some low-light doctrine.

     LET: So you think the word is getting out?

     Good: You see more articles about it. There wasn't any of this a decade ago. Nobody was really even interested in it. Yet, countless incidents occur in the dark, obviously due to the nature of the people you're dealing with. I think people are starting to wake up. I'm sure there are still departments that don't have a clue, but I'm also hopeful that there are a lot of departments that do, and they're actively looking for ways to improve.

     LET: You're the creator of some very successful combat light sources. What do you think about emerging technology, both in the hands of criminals and police? What's up and coming?

     Good: I would imagine some of the smart criminals would take advantage of the new technology, but I haven't seen that as a big problem yet. As far as the use of light: That takes discipline to use it right. Just because you give someone an excellent flashlight — without good training — it's probably going to hurt them more than it's going to help. I see technology tipping the scales toward law enforcement with the caveat that they need to work with it. Specifically, LEDs are improving dramatically. There's a very strong upward curve where these LED lights are much more powerful than they were even a year ago, which gives an officer a much more reliable tool that is going to last tens of thousands of hours, as opposed to 20 to 60 hours on an incandescent lamp. So I think the biggest jump in technology is the use of digital lighting and LEDs, and those are going to continue to improve.

     A 12-year veteran of police work, Carole Moore has served in patrol, forensics, crime prevention and criminal investigations, and has extensive training in many law enforcement disciplines. She welcomes comments at carolemoore@ec.rr.com.

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