Warning: Laser in use

The use of lasers is very common; they serve as valuable tools in many aspects of our lives. Lasers come in a variety of forms and are used by doctors to correct our vision, to scan barcodes, or to create brilliant light shows at amusement parks...

There is already a commercially manufactured laser designed specifically for law enforcement called the Dazer Laser, manufactured by Laser Energetics This is a powerful and highly effective laser designed in the form of a firearm (The Defender) or a small flashlight (The Guardian). The Defender model boasts a 500mW-powered laser with an effective range of 2,400 meters, which is well over one mile, and a maximum range of 4,000 meters for hailing and warning. The Dazer Laser is uniquely designed not to damage or injure the eyes of a violator and is effective both day and night. The Dazer Laser instantly eliminates the violator’s ability to see, forcing him or her to close or shield their eyes or turn away, giving officers a substantial tactical advantage. Attempting to ignore the effects of the laser causes the violator to become “dazed” or experience a sense of imbalance or disorientation.

The most powerful handheld lasers

In 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized a laser that was shown to be the most powerful handheld laser in the world. A China-based company called Wicked Lasers manufactures a sophisticated and powerful 1,000mW laser called the Arctic Series Laser. While the Arctic laser is more cool than practical, the company is finding it difficult to keep up with the huge demand for their product. It is impeccably engineered and has a long list of functions and high-tech safety features.

Since then, the company has upgraded to the Krypton Series, publicizing it as the brightest handheld laser in the world. According to the company, this laser has the power to reach a target over eighty-five miles away. Keep in mind; the Earth’s atmosphere ends at about sixty-two miles and the company warns that the laser could be potentially hazardous to satellites. Wicked Laser reports the Krypton’s brightness measures in at about 86 million lux. Direct sunlight cast between 32,000 and 130,000 lux. This means that even on the brightest of days (130,000 lux), looking at the dot of the Krypton Laser would appear to be about 661 times brighter than staring directly at the sun.

Why the lasers are made so powerful and why they are not strictly regulated will undoubtedly become growing concerns in the near future. Like firearms; however, the deciding factor of whether a laser is good or bad depends on who is holding it. These powerful lasers are the ultimate gadget, but can also be the ultimate weapon, and the law enforcement community must pay close attention to their increasing existence.


Lt. Andy Borrello is a 23-year veteran with the San Gabriel (California) Police Department. He welcomes comments at policepromote@gmail.com.

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