By Lars Dalseide | April 27 2012 10:51

Lewisville Police officer Mike Lane, a frequent NRA Tactical Police Competition volunteer, is in Kansas for an NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor School. With a look at the "downtown", here's his Day three report:

Downtown Horton, Kansas
A stroll down 8th St reveals some beautiful architecture and an old farm truck that refuses to give in to the sands of time. Lot's of NRA stickers proudly displayed in the back window's too.

Horton, Kansas - Today is scheduled to be the longest of the week. That's because it promises to be the most comprehensive; including all the aspects of training students for low light encounters. We're getting in late tonight so I've decided to go ahead and send the daily update during our lunch break.

Ask any local resident to describe something about their beautiful town to an outside and they will point out one of two things. First off, Horton sits along the original route of the Pony Express. Lot's of daring young men blazed through this area back in the day knowing that if they didn't outrun bands of attacking Indians then they would never see home again. According to the local experts, a letter could make it's way to the west coast in under 10 days. How's that for a reality check?

The second claim to fame is how their little town became known as "The Electric City." You see, Horton earned this title back in 1937 when it became the very first rural electric project in the entire State of Kansas. As a society, we really take for granted the conveniences that electric power provides in our daily lives. And as we found out this morning, nothing more obvious to my fellow students and I than the power of LIGHT!!

NRA Instructor Darrel Schenck at the Kansas Law Enforcement Instructor course
Instructor Darrel Schenck demonstrates the importance of positioning light beyond your cover/concealment. Note how much of his body is illuminated with a small amount of the beam bouncing off the barrier.
If you think all your practicing and training has developed you into a pretty proficient shooter — even when firing one-handed or off-handed — I challenge you to repeat your training regime while holding a light source. It's difficult enough to orientate the beam in the right direction and manipulate the switch, but you must also take into consideration the tactical application of deploying a light.

As the staff instructors demonstrated, there are many ways in which the use of a flashlight that can either help or hurt your chances of coming out of an encounter in one piece ... a lesson we'll all have to teach our students.

There are dozens of things to consider when deploying a light: Can you identify the threat? Are you giving away your position? Is the suspect armed or just carrying a water bottle? Am I going to trip and fall over some debris: Every Law Enforcement Officer has to access and answer these questions weekly if not daily throughout their careers.

By learning how to teach the efficient and effective use of light sources while in the field means our students have every opportunity to successfully return from such encounters ... just like the riders of the Pony Express.

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