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Right Way to Spray

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2009 Pages: 74,76,78
Lindsey Bertomen
Date Published
April 2009
4 pages
This article discusses correct uses of OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray as an effective tool for law enforcement.
Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) products have established themselves in police use. In its recent history, OC is proven not only to be effective but statistically safe, with few deaths attributed to OC deployments and even fewer listing OC as the primary contributing factor. This article discusses the various situations in which the use of OC spray or other handheld chemical irritants would be effective and appropriate. Highlights of these situations include: (1) an officer is in a situation where a person exhibits passive resistance with a weapon and (2) an officer approaching a situation where there is force continuum overlap (possible use of either OC spray or handgun). An agency predeployment procedure is strongly recommended. OC does not work in every situation and certainly does not work for everyone; however, OC spray and other handheld chemical irritants are effective tools for officers with the proper training.