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OLEORESIN CAPSICUM CERTIFICATION MARION COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT PROBATION DEPARTMENT Joseph Hodson-Field Services Coordinator
Objectives • • Understand what OC spray is. Understand strengths and limitations for OC spray. Have a basic working knowledge of the legal, tactical and medical issues regarding OC spray. Have the experience of exposure to OC spray
What is OC? • • • Oleoresin Capsicum comes from the latin term for “Oily resin” of a “pepper”. It is a NATURAL EXTRACT of Cayenne and other edible peppers. All ingredients are certified food grade by the FDA
OC Is All Natural n n n It is important to note that OC is a natural food derivative. CN (teargas) is a synthetic chemical lacrimator. CS (mace) is a synthetic chemical irritant.
Why Is This Important? n n OC is far less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Very few people are allergic to peppers. Higher probability of asthmatic reactions to teargas (CN) and mace (CS)
Other Differences between OC, CN and CS n n OC is an “Oily Resin”-Can be washed off with soap and water. CN and CS are both microparticulate solids. -will “blow off” with fresh air.
Other Differences between OC, CN and CS n n n OC works almost immediately once it gets in the eyes. CN works in 2 -5 seconds (usually towards 5 seconds) CS working in 20 -60 seconds (this is a long time in a life or death situation!)
What is an SHU? n n OC strength is measured in SHU’s- Scofield Heat Unit’s. A Jalapeno pepper measures about 5000 SHU’s. Habanero and Scotch Bonnet measure about 200, 000 SHU’s. Naga Jolokia measures 855, 000 to 1 Million SHU’s!
SHU’s Continued…. n n n First Defense MK-3 Spray=500, 000 SHU’s. This is as strong as 100 Jalapeno peppers! Some OC’s that use strong solvent carriers measure over 5, 000 SHU’s!
Other Factors in Heat n n n The “hottness” of the spray is not just a result of the peppers. It is also a function of the carrier fluid. Water, alcohol, other solvents.
Types of Carriers n n Water-relies totally on the concentration of pepper in the spray and the speed and volume of delivery to achieve “hotness”. Alcohol-breaks up the oil on the skin and carries the OC deep into the pores, resulting in a “hotter” spray.
Carriers n n n Other, more powerful chemical solvents are sometimes used. The advantage is that they penetrate the skin very quickly and may carry the OC through the epidermis, so they are considered “very hot”. There are concerns about toxicity and chemical irritation (chemical burns).
Carriers-What do we use? n First Defense MK-3 is a mixture of water and alcohol.
SHU’s and Recovery Time n n Generally speaking, below 2 Million SHU’s, the effect is about the same, except for recovery time. At around 5 millions SHU’s, both effect and recover time are greatly increased.
Delivery n n Cone Sprays (also foggers) Stream Sprays Foam Gel
Delivery n n n Each system has advantages and disadvantages With cone and stream sprays, you are likely to deal with splashback and overspray. With foam and gel, you are more likely to deal with deliberate contamination.
Cone Sprays n n Great for respiratory effect and getting behind eyewear. Limited range Problematic when you are downwind of subject. Tend to contaminate large areas.
Foggers n n Essentially high volume cone sprays for use in corrections. They are not applicable in civilian crowd because unlike tear gas, the incapacitate rather than disperse. You will just create a whole bunch of people that need medical attention.
Stream Sprays n n n This is what the Probation Department uses. Works much like a squirt gun. Wind does not effect it as much. 6 -8 foot range Not great for immediate respiratory effect.
Foam n n n Much lower risk for spashback, overspray and area contamination. Good for hospitals, malls, etc. . Easier to aim. Longer onset time. Can be thrown back at you!
Gel n n Most recent development. Has the benefits of the foam spray but it is harder to throw back at officer. It still has a longer onset time. If subject has eyes closed, gel will not “roll” down forehead into eyes.
Storage/Shelf Life n n n Store below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and out of direct sunlight. The active chemical does not decompose with time. The loss of the propellant is the concern, it should be checked every 6 month.
OC Effects n n n Immediate inflammation of the blood vessels, mucous membrane. Involuntary coughing, gasping for breath, occasionally gagging An intense burning sensation, like the skin and eyes are on fire. The eyes slam shut involuntarily, eyes become red. Mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, lip may swell.
OC Effects n Some OC Sprays using solvent carriers may cause the skin to peel, resembling a sunburn the next day. This is a result of the extreme drying of the skin.
OC Reactions n n n Grabbing at the face. Bending at the waist with hands on knee. Shouting, panicking, reports inability to breath. Shakes violently. Usually will not fall down to the ground.
Dog Reactions n n n Similar effect to humans Often extremely effective. Although not as reliable, especially with trained attack dogs or if a dog has already engaged in a bite.
OC Recovery Time n n Water/Alcohol based OC-major symptoms wear off in 20 minutes or so. Full recovery in 60 -90 minutes. Solvent based-major symptoms wear off in 60 -90 minutes. Full recovery in 2 -4 hours.
Possibility of Failure n n It is important to keep in mind that, before the taser, OC was the most effective noninjuring control technology that actually works most of the time. However……
OC Failures n n Nothing always works every time on every person. There are several different variables to consider.
Variables n n n State of mind---- Combat experience, mindset, sanity, rage, suicide, intellectual impairment, fear… Chemical Condition----Drugs, alcohol, mixes. Any combination of the above.
Variables n n It may take longer to work on some subjects than others. What would you do if you needed to use it and it didn’t work? Have a plan B!
OC Exposure Treatment n n Cool water---applied to the face and the eyes. Soap or shampoo to remove the oil from the skin. Baby shampoo works great! Fresh air. Have EMS remove contacts of necessary and possible.
OC Exposure Treatment n n n Do not use oils, salves or creams. Do not rub the face or the eyes. It just takes time…. .
Preparation to use OC n n First of all, make sure your OC is readily accessible. Where is it on you? In your vest, jacket pocket, holder on your belt? Is your shirt tucked in? Are you wearing a bulky sweater? You should be able to have it out and ready to use in no more than 3 seconds at all times! This is something you can practice but it is always something you should think about.
Contact and Cover n n n Your partner can be great cover while you are conducting an interview in the field. Communicate with each other. There is nothing wrong with having the OC spray readily accessible if you wish.
When to use OC Spray Per Department policy. It is the departments position that the Probation Officer always attempt to remove him/herself from situations that exhibit signs of possible escalation. The Department will provide each Officer with a chemical agent as a defense tool if the officer is confronted with a threatening situation. The Probation Officer must carry the chemical agent with them at all times when in the field. If the Probation Officer is forced to use the chemical agent, the following procedures must be met. n
Departments Procedures for OC Use n n 1. Immediately upon leaving the scene to ensure their safety, the probation officer must return to the scene when the police arrive to answer any questions and to assist local law enforcement in rendering first aid to the probationer if needed. 2. The Probation Officer must submit a “Use of Chemical Agent Report” to the Chief Probation Officer within 24 hours of the incident.
Signs of Impending Aggression Balls fists, drops center, blades off, rocks on feet. n Face goes from white to red. n Breaks of eye contact— 1000 yard stare or target glance. n Bares teeth, breathing shallow. n Verbal challenge. n Verbalization stops. n Even if you just have an “uneasy feeling”. THESE ARE ALL SIGNS THAT YOU SHOULD LEAVE THE SCENE ASAP! n
How to Use OC n n Shake the canister Shout clear verbal commands Spray from the interview stance, canister back towards your body and a reactionary hand in front of you to deflect any aggressive action. Do not hold OC out in front of you like you would a gun! Short bursts-one second or less!
How to Use OC n n n Try to be 3 feet or more away. If you are 3 or more feet away, aim directly at the eyes. Is there any situation where we would not want to aim at the eyes? When?
How to Use OC n n The purpose we are using the OC for is NOT TO MAKE AN ARREST, We are buying time to GET OUT OF DANGER. Do not wait to see if it works. Get out of harms ways as quickly as possible.
How to use OC n n n There is always the chance of over spray. Try to have an idea of where your partner is. Yell “spray” so your partner knows to get out of the way if necessary.
Overspray n n n If you do get sprayed by your partner, it will hurt like crazy. Do not let this deter you from leaving the scene quickly. You can pry your eyes open to see where you are going if necessary.
After OC Use n n n Get to a safe place and call Law Enforcement immediately. Call your supervisor immediately. Return to scene when law enforcement arrives to assist with investigation.
OC injuries n n n OC injuries are so rare it is almost impossible to document. There have been very few lawsuits regarding OC use. Most injuries are mechanical: Running, falling, etc…
OC related deaths n n There have been very few deaths related to OC. These appear to be “In Custody Death Syndrome”.
In Custody Death Syndrome Excited delirium n Violent struggle n Drug Use n Medical issues Respiratory: Asthma, Emphysema Cardiopulmonary problems Obesity n
Who is at risk? n n n 99% are male. 35 -44 year olds are generally involved. Usually involves a struggle. Death usually follows bizarre behavior episode and/or the use of illegal drugs. Geography is not a factor.
Positional Asphyxia Term used to describe the placement of a body in a position that interferes with the ability to breath. n Can occur: When the subject’s chest is restricted from expanding properly When the position of the subject’s head obstructs the airway. n
Contributing Factors n n n Alcohol Intoxication Drugs (Especially Cocaine) Physical Ailments (Obesity) Delirium: Bizarre or Frenzied Behavior Respiratory Diseases (asthma, emphysema) Cardiac Diseases (enlarged heart, etc. )