Last month there was a disturbing incident that took place involving a Shelby Township police officer. While driving his patrol vehicle in the middle of the day, a loud explosion occurred, stunning the officer. He called for assistance and other officers discovered that the tactical flashlight manufactured by “Streamlight,” attached to his patrol rifle had exploded, sending glass and other material throughout the vehicle. Officers arriving on the scene could detect the foul smell of burning rubber emanating from the squad car and noticed glass and/or plastic scattered throughout the vehicle. The top part of the flashlight was missing a good portion of its cover, as well as the light bulb itself. The batteries had melted into the housing unit.
The investigating officer noticed that the activation switch to the flashlight was being depressed by the locking arm of the rifle mount. It appeared that the light was on at the time of the explosion and was still hot to the touch, even after several minutes had elapsed. Some of the glass struck the officer’s head and after being taken to the hospital, the officer still complained of a loud ringing in his ear. The officer still experiences significant hearing loss and there is a great concern that it may be permanent.
The Police Officers Association of Michigan would like to know if any other officers have experienced a similar situation with any flashlight, or have had other safety issues with the Streamlight brand. Please call Ed Jacques at 313-937-9000 or contact POAM online if you can shed any additional light on this troubling subject.