Saturday, November 14, 2009


I can't seem to shrink the picture down enough but it comes from this thread here You have to go to the link to see the full picture of the flashlight. There's also another collectors police flashlight set which has another light like this as well as similar ones.
There are also pictures of maglites in that link but the first picture is a Kel-Lite 7 c- cell flashlight with judo head attachment. Later in the thread, there's a picture of a group of lights, some of which are

There is a brief history of the Kel-Lite flashlight here

I still have mine from my police days (with a judo head end attachment as shown above), a 7 c cell model which was used in lieu of a baton in most circumstances. Our academy instructor had been particularly enamored with them. Another Kel-lite I had, a six c cell version, was stolen along with a new Silverado truck I had in the mid-eighties from a parking lot.

I had been using a lite called a "B-Lite" made by Bianchi, the holster maker, since high school. They sold them in high end photography shops in Houston, and they were heavy duty, shock proof and water resistant. They were the perfect boating and fishing light at the time, like the Kel-Lite, and could be carried with a simple belt loop with a metal ring.

Streamlight became the light of choice in law enforcement in the early 80's, and many departments went to the 24 inch baton at that time. But Streamlights were thicker and shorter than the Kel-Lite, and although the streamlight was many times brighter than the Kel-lite, if used as a non-deadly force weapon the early Streamlights expensive bulb assembly was prone to breakage if used as a baton.

Which could be often in the early 1980's. During suspect contacts, even in the daytime, you could have your Streamlight or Kel-light underneath your non-shooting arm, in case an interviewee decided to pull a gun or knife you could quickly bat it away with your flashlight, thus saving you the trouble of having to shoot someone to survive.

Back then, street officers didn't often have Tasers, in their first generation. Supervisors and mental health type units had them, but they were not often handy in a sudden situation. So officers often used Kel-Lites instead of batons in those days.

Over the years, policies about non-lethal force change, and eventually Kel-Lites fell out of favor. Agencies adopted collapsible batons like the ASP, and other sorts of baton type weapons.

I like Kel-lites. I'd like to have a couple of more. I can never seem to find them on ebay. I have a maglight in my car, so in case it ever gets stolen, I haven't lost my last Kel-Lite. I use my light for emergency home lighting conditions and prowler checking. The maglight is a D cell light, and I prefer the thinner feel of a C cell flashlight.

One remnant I have from policing days is a minty mint 24 inch Bianchi aluminum police baton with rubberized grip. It's really cool and I have no use for it at all. I wish I could find a nice couple of Kel-Lites to trade for that baby. I've thought about putting it on ebay, if they would even sell a weapon like that, or some other site like gun broker or the like.

Any ideas what an early 1980's Bianchi Aluminum Police Baton would be worth? Is there a reputable police gear museum collection I could donate it do? It's certainly museum quality, having been bought for me as a gift by a friend back in my policing days. I couldn't use it because we had department approved batons and regulations that, although they allowed personally owned Kel-Lites, did not allow for substitution of the approved baton.

So the Bianchi baton has been a conversation piece and an interesting piece of memorabilia but the wife is not as "into" my collecting as I am. It's not so much collecting as it is retaining, in often excellent condition, certain items of significance from your past.

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