Klarus XT20 Police Diary
Diary Entry 1
I am an Operational Front Line Police Officer in the UK with almost 20 years service. My Name/Rank/Location have been withheld due to operational requirements.
Ok, torch assembled with fully charged batteries. The standard of manufacture is excellent. Aircraft grade aluminium with a built in grip. What next? Power on…WOW! ...AMAZING!! Sorry but that’s the only way to describe the intensity of the beam of light coming from the twin lamp units in the XT20. The light is pure white and the two reflectors are focused to throw only one concentrated beam of light. The cap unit has a mode switch to enable 3 levels of illumination and there is a strobe mode (but not had chance to use this facility yet).
So what’s it like to use operationally?
First night shift and first use of the XT20. The belt loop fits onto the standard Police utility belt. There is a D-ring, a velcro loop and a stitched loop so you can choose how to fit it onto your belt. I opted for using the stitched loop for added security. So now it’s on the belt. The first thing I noticed was the weight, or lack of. The second was how it wasn't intrusive even when sat in the Patrol Car while wearing the standard issue ballistic protective vest. The advantage over torches such as the 4-cell Maglite firstly its size/weight - slimmer/lighter. Secondly the belt loop folds over - if you want to remove the torch and store it in the vehicle until used and thirdly because its slimmer/lighter its more comfortable to wear when in the vehicle and most importantly it doesn't get in the way of your other kit such as baton /CS spray etc. After a while you forget you are wearing it.
So first job of the evening resulted in an extensive search of fields/woodlands for suspects for theft of a motor vehicle. Arrived on scene - totally pitch black until I switched on the torch. The throw of the torch was outstanding. The two reflector units are focused so as to throw only one beam so you get a flood and spot light all in one. Its like being at a football match and sitting under the floodlights - the torch is that good. The light was pure white and the performance far exceed that of my previous torch, the 4 D cell Maglite.
The search involved quite an extensive tramp through the fields for over 1 and a half hours. This is where the XT 20 out performed the Dragon Lamp. The Dragon lamp is a very rugged bit of kit but has 2 major faults - its heavy and the battery doesn't last that long. How many times have you gone on a job, taken the Dragon lamp from its charger in the Nick only to hear the buzz coming from it indicating that the battery is about to go... and no spare battery! With the XT20 I was able to carry 2 spare Lithium Ion batteries with me. Although not required, it was reassuring that I had them with me just in case.
What was also reassuring is that it is waterproof, which was welcome as I dropped it in a small stream while climbing along the banking. The torch never faltered and later when I returned to the station I removed the end cap and reflector head to find that no water had entered. The instruction leaflet states that the torch will operate on high power for 2 hours, but have not put this to the test so far.
So after the march around the countryside it was back in the car and back to routine patrol. First vehicle stopped and driver asked to sit in the rear of the police car. This is when the lower power settings of the torch came in handy. Placed on the dashboard it provides great illumination of the inside of the police vehicle which is an improvement on standard lighting inside the car, which never seems to cover the rear seat area. A plus point with regards to officer safety as you can keep an eye on the chap in the rear seat.
The torch can also be mounted onto the new Klick Fast docking system, which I believe is standard on most Police uniforms now. I know that ours all come with this system. The low weight of the torch enables the user to attach it to the docking system with ease and although it may appear large it doesn't feel so when in use and attached to your jacket or vest. This is another plus point as you don't have to carry two torches etc.
The XT20 in my opinion is the ideal torch for operational police use.
I have no connection to Klarus - only that I am a very satisfied customer. I will be using the XT20 as standard kit from now on. The big Dragon Lamp will be used as a last resort and the Maglite has been retired from duty. I will provide further updates on the use of the XT20 as the weeks go on and will provide updates accordingly. Several colleagues have already asked where they can get the XT20.
Diary Entry 2
'Took the XT20 on a search of a large house. No power on in the building. Colleagues had dragon lamps and we had lots of rooms/cellars to search. Colleagues made a few choice remarks regarding my ''weird looking torch'' but guess who had the last laugh when the Dragon Lamps ran out of charge after half and hour?!! The XT20 is very handy to have in such a situation. Not only a great personal torch but also a great floodlight. Placed on a flat surface, pointing to the ceiling the pure white light bounces off the ceiling and then throws it all around the room leaving a hand free to continue with the search - spot on yet again!
Diary Entry 3
Attended a very large derelict commercial building search - several other officers had mag lites and there was also a dragon lamp present. Few comments on my weird looking torch but then I switched it on… all then turned into positive comments. As the torch has several output settings it is suitable for
the illumination of rooms - something the dragon light failed to do after approx 25mins. It was also used for close quarter searching - cupboards, under floors etc, which was made easy on the mid setting. What’s good about the XT20 is its versatility, light weight and performance. It was used to illuminate rooms (in pitch black/darkness - due to no power in the building) by placing it on a
table or propped up vertically against a wall - bouncing the light off the ceilings. There was no worry about the batteries running down as it was easy to carry a spare set of batteries, although they were not needed.
When searching you need to have good illumination and a set of hands free!! The other brand 5 and 6 cell torches were more of a hindrance due to size and weight. The dragon lamps are great if they can be plugged into a separate 12v supply, but after approx 25mins the buzzer goes and its all over.
Diary Entry 4
Searching external areas of several large premises, a colleague commented, ''It’s bloody bright that torch of yours''. His normal incandescent lamp torch resembled a feeble yellow glow compared to the XT20. The glow got dimmer as the night / further premises checks wore on. It was so easy to carry a spare set of batteries - the first time I have had to change the batteries, and it was no great drama, and with the 12v plug-in charger, I put the other batteries back on charge in the Police vehicle.
Diary Entry 5
Attended the scene of a road traffic collision. I was first on scene at a very remote location. No street lights. By using the XT20 I was able to FULLY illuminate the scene prior to the Fire Service attending. The torch performed without fault. The Fire Officer in charge even commented on the performance of the XT20, which is great for safety and protection of a potential ''crime scene''.
Diary Entry 6
Stopping a vehicle when single crewed on nights, which doesn’t happen very often, but can be dangerous. Sometimes you don’t know who or what you are going to encounter. With the XT20 on full power I was able to fully illuminate the vehicle and occupants while I approached. Basically I could see every move they made yet all they would be able to see was a VERY bright light. It’s a real bonus for safety.
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