June 18, 2007
Buying & wearing sunglasses
Ptlm. Arthur Rigsby, Greenfield (OH) PD
There are always debates on the use of any equipment down to your underwear. One of the debates I find funny is the use of sunglasses during daytime patrol. Absolutely wear sunglasses during the sunlight. They protect your eyes from harmful UV light and from foreign materials. They also conceal your eyes so no one knows where you are looking. You can be facing forward but eyeballing the suspect walking down the sidewalk.
If your sunglasses become an obstruction or hindrance set them on your head, hook them on your shirt or throw them down.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing shades:
1. Make sure they are they approved by your agency (no Mickey Mouse or Star Trek).
2. Make sure they provide impact resistance, sturdiness and give good eye coverage.
3. Make sure they DO NOT distort colors. Some ambers and yellows will make blue cars look green and maroon cars look black. In our line of work proper identification is paramount.
4. I recommend Polarized lenses because they are not too dark and they omit 50% of ambient light. Polarized lenses cut through glare and will, for the most part, allow you to clearly see through car glass glare and see persons and activity inside.
Polarized sunglasses do have a drawback. They black out LCD displays like on most radio equipment, depending on the angle you look at the display. They are a tool like anything else. Use what you need and use common sense.