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Working without a uniform certainly has its advantages, but needing many of the same tools as a uniform cop—and having to constantly conceal those tools—can be a big challenge.

After my pistol, the next most important tool that I carry is my flashlight. A small, powerful, dependable flashlight with a tail-cap switch remains essential for everything from identifying potential threats and blinding an adversary to simply looking under your car for a dropped set of keys.

Today, several companies make top-of-the-line lights that can easily slip into a pocket or clip onto a belt and remain forgotten until needed. While there are similarities, each of these lights is a unique and dependable resource to officers who cannot wear a uniform but still require a good flashlight. Having choices means being able to find the tool that works best for them.

Here are a few of the best flashlights available for law enforcement officers.

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