In 1984, Dan Murphy entered the New York City Police Academy and underwent the typical six months of training. A part of that training was the use of the approved firearms and chemical mace.

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Learning the Challenges of Mace

Training to use mace consisted of 5-10 minutes of discussion, followed by all the trainees assembling at an outdoor shooting range. They unholster their mace canisters and point them at arm’s length towards the target stanchions. On the mark, they are instructed to lift the cap and send a 2-3 second burst downrange. At that point, trainees are officially certified to use mace.

Afterward, the trainers brought everyone back into the training room. Murphy recalls receiving the following advice: “Don’t use it in windy conditions, don’t use it around other cops, and never use it indoors”. Essentially, don’t use it unless optimal circumstances exist.

Absolute Precaution Required

The message was received. Almost no one used it, ever. When someone did, they had to deal with the lingering effects of contamination on their eyes, uniforms and squad cars. Instead, Murphy and his fellow NYPD officers relied on old-school tools to handle physical confrontations with suspects: fists, nightsticks, mag lights and portable radios. In short, whatever was in their hands at the time.

Police Officers Armed With Mace

The City of New York felt the need to arm its police force with a chemical irritant to have as an alternative to tools with greater lethality and liability. So, they spent a fortune on mace canisters which went largely unused by tens of thousands of NYPD officers across several decades.

After retiring from the NYPD in early 2004, Murphy entered corporate security. He worked with contracted guard services who never seemed to be equipped with anything to use against an aggressor. The risk of having guards equipped (thus encouraging physical confrontations) is deemed too high for many companies, resulting in unarmed, “eyes and ears only” security guards.

REPULS’ Debut as an Alternative to Pepper Spray

Murphy left the corporate world and, in 2017, had the opportunity to meet the founder of Crotega, Jody Allen Crowe. Crowe described his invention (SentriZone) a revolutionary threat suppression system for buildings. However, when Murphy learned about REPULS™, the water-based chemical solution used in the suppression tanks, and about the properties that made it different, he saw an opportunity to expand its use.

He thought back to his police career and how many incidents resulted in physical confrontations. These events might have easily ended with a better irritant, one safer to the officer and easier to mitigate. REPULS fit the bill. Murphy urged Crowe to create hand-held canisters to deploy the REPULS solution.

The Better Way Than Pepper Spray

Crotega has since introduced the new alternative to pepper spray to the law enforcement market. After receiving samples and conducting independent testing, both private security firms and law enforcement agencies have begun to make the switch.

The REPULS solution gives anyone tasked with protecting others, or themselves, a new tool that is both highly effective and easy to mitigate, with no known lasting injuries. Law enforcement leaders are currently exploring tools to help their departments remain impactful without causing avoidable injuries to civilians. REPULS represents that kind of system that officers can confidently deploy.