SWAT teams must make life or death decisions within seconds.
In only seconds, they must determine: Does the suspect have a knife or is it a cell phone? It is a gun or is it a remote control?
That's why Reynoldsburg SWAT spent an entire day testing out new tactical light gloves created by Tim Matheny of T&M Tactical.
Matheny created the gloves after working SWAT for more than a decade in Muskingum County. He says the aha moment came during a drug raid.
“One of the guys had dropped his flashlight while we were entering the residence. In doing that, he goes into the residence without a light source,” Tim Matheny says. “Having a light source that is not attached to a weapon will minimize risk while still providing safety for SWAT, in addition to the public.”
In daylight, the gloves look like normal utility gloves for police, but darken the room and you can experience the gloves in action.
“If I can put a light on it, I know immediately it's a remote control, I know immediately it's a cell phone. It's not a gun, it's not a knife, it's not something that they can use to hurt me or one of my teammates with,” said one Reynoldsburg SWAT Officer.
The lighted gloves also give officers more hands-free capabilities - if they get into a struggle with a suspect or if they're trying to make an arrest.
The center button is the function button which is constantly on, or they can use strobe feature for a distraction. There’s even the 3rd button, which is a pressure sensor pad in the palm that activates only when needed.
T&M Tactical also offers a safety grant to help offset the costs which run just over $100 a pair.
Several Sheriff's offices including Muskingum, Perry and Morgan County are using the light gloves. Reynoldsburg SWAT is currently considering them.