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Posted on: November 23, 2021

New Optical Sights Improve Safety

Detective Gary Malphurs provides training to Public Safety Officers at gun range.

The Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety has upgraded its department handguns by adding red dot optical sights -- becoming the first law enforcement agency in Volusia County to adopt the technology for both handguns and rifles for an entire agency.

The Trijicon modular optic system was added to the department’s Glock 45 handguns over the past week. Nearly all 35 Public Safety officers have already received training on their new red dot optical sights and completed qualification, said Detective Daniel Carrazana, one of four certified firearms instructors with the department. Public Safety’s rifles have had optical sights for some time.

“Our goal is to increase the accuracy of our officers,” said Daytona Beach Shores Capt. Michael Fowler. “With handgun-mounted optics, officers can keep both eyes open when aiming their weapon, which increases situational awareness and allows officers to better focus on the assailant. You are literally putting a dot on the target.”

Upgrading to optical sights has been cost prohibitive for most law enforcement agencies, and many agencies limit their use to rifles. But now there is a trend in law enforcement to add optical sights to handguns, as well, as another way to improve safety during officer-involved shootings, said Detective Carrazana.

The Daytona Beach Shores Community Foundation, a private foundation led by former Mayor Harry Jennings that raises funding for special projects and charitable/educational purposes, provided $14,413 toward the $21,000 cost.

Public Safety’s new red dot sights are separate attachments mounted to the top of the slide of the handgun that have a lens that uses a red LED light to locate the target. (It is not a laser.) The existing iron sights remain on the handguns in case the red dot is not there due to breakage or the battery.

“We conduct firearms training twice a year and qualify annually, and our officers are trained to use both types of sights,” Carrazana said.

“You never know when an emergency situation will occur, and our goal is to be as well-prepared and trained as we can be,” said Public Safety Director Stephan Dembinsky. “We appreciate the support of the Daytona Beach Shores Community Foundation that allowed us to upgrade to this technology. We believe it will help us better protect the public while keeping our officers safe.”

Providing top-of-the-line safety equipment can also be a recruitment tool, Capt. Fowler said. Daytona Beach Shores’ Public Safety model combines police and fire/rescue services with cross-training for all officers. This Public Safety concept better serves residents and visitors through faster response times and cost savings.

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