One of the last booths I visited at the Industry Day at the Range was the Piexon booth, exhibiting their new JPX4 OC Projector. The “JP” stands for Jet Projector, and refers to the manner the OC spray is dispersed using the less lethal device. Using self-contained 14mm aluminum canisters that are loaded into the four tubes on the JPX4, the OC will not disperse until the trigger of the JPX4 is pulled to activate the release mechanism. The canisters look like miniature oxygen tanks from a hospital, and remain inside the JPX4 until the officer manually removes them at the end of a shift or after use.
Center Mass, Inc. has an ingenious pouch for AR-15 magazines that attaches to your duty belt behind your pistol mag pouch. The Patrol Rifle Integrated Magazine Pouch ensures you always have an additional rifle mag with you, without the need for strapping anything else to your rifle.
Let’s face it, mag couplers can get heavy when holding a rifle on a subject for a long period of time. The pouches that strap to the rifle’s buttstock can come loose, and they can get in the way if you transition between shoulders to work around corners and cover.
The integrated mag pouch simply goes between your regular pistol magazine pouch and your belt, putting it where your hands have already trained to go for a reload.
Hopefully, we will be getting some of these pouches to test in the near future. I want to see if the system works as well as it looks like it should.
In case you have not heard it yet, check out my interview with Jeff Felts of Center Mass on episode #013 of the BlueSheepdog Podcast here. Jeff and I talk about his company’s products and the annual National Patrol Rifle Conference and Competition that he organizes. There is a two day training conference and vendor expo associated with the event, so it is something that you should consider getting involved in.
In the August 2007 issue of Law Officer Magazine is an article that is both informative and scary.
For years it has been common knowledge that departments that issue both electronic control devices (such as the TASER) and oleoresin capsicum (O.C. or pepper) spray should be careful to buy a non-flammable formulation of O.C. spray. Early formulations of O.C. spray used an alcohol-based carrier, which was more effective that the water used today. However, the alcohol was also flammable.
There is at least one recorded incident in which a stun gun was used on a combative suspect who had already been sprayed with an alcohol formulation of O.C. with both spectacular and disastrous results.
Most manufacturers produce non-flammable pepper spray formulations for police departments. Some even label the O.C. as safe to use with TASER-type weapons. I suspect that most departments, like my own, have accepted the manufacturers’ testing of their own products.
CRT Consulting, a less-lethal weapons research company, tested 48 different formulations of pepper spray to determine if the O.C. is safe to use with a TASER. The results were not encouraging.
Using a forensics dummy wearing a t-shirt and jeans, the CRT Consulting test team applied a 10 second cycle from a M26 TASER, while spraying the mannequin with a 2-3 second burst of O.C. Of the 48 formulations tested, 12 were marked as “non flammable,” or “EDW Tested and Safe.” Of those 12, eight resulted in flames and ignition of the clothing, including the can marked “EDW Tested and Safe.”
Your department may want to contact CRT Consulting to determine if your pepper spray really is “non flammable.” Certainly, testing your current O.C./TASER combination should be a priority before something ugly happens to put you as the lead story in tonight’s news.
Prior to this magazine article, CRT published an article on PoliceOne about this subject here.
There are other concerns about the use of TASER-type devices on people with heart conditions. We can try to limit the exposure in those situations, but mixing flammable pepper spray with an electronic control device is completely preventable.