Red Dot Sights (RDS) for All Officers




Decker, Christopher Mark

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Law enforcement officers face the potential for deadly force encounters as part of their job. In a worst-case scenario, an officer may have to use deadly force resulting in the injury or death of another in a split-second decision. Currently, the most patrol officers that respond to and are involved in shootings are relying on their duty weapons, a pistol. Pistols are designed to be aimed with iron (fixed) sights to address a threat. Officers are taught to focus on the front sight which makes the threat out of focus. This has resulted in the unintended consequences of fatal officer involved shootings where the threat was unarmed, or presented a threat that was interpreted by the officer as a weapon and subsequently shot. A technology that has been developed for rifles and used effectively for decades is the Red Dot Sight (RDS). The RDS simplifies the aiming process down to a simple red dot to place on a threat (Jedlinski, 2019). The advantage being that the threat is in focus as the officer has both eyes open watching the threat. The human brain under stress keep a person’s focus on what is about to harm us. With an officer focused on a threat; faster, more accurate shots will be obtained than iron sights. Changes of the threat can be observed in focus. With the advantages of RDS over iron sights, law enforcement agencies should equip and train RDS for patrol officer’s duty weapons. Adopting RDS on all officer’s weapons will reduce the potential of bad shootings, save agencies money from wrongful death settlements, and add a layer of protection for the officer and the public.



Police--Equipment and Supplies, Firearms