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Crotega Blog

The BETTER way than Pepper Spray
In 1984 Dan Murphy (Crotega) entered the New York City Police Academy and underwent the typical 6 months of training. A part of that training was the use of the approved firearms and chemical mace. At the time, the training for the use of mace consisted of 5-10 minutes of general discussion, followed by the trainees all marching out from the training room to an outdoor shooting range in Rodman’s Neck, The Bronx, NY. They were lined up- 54 across- at the 7-yard line. On the command, they unholstered their mace canisters, pointed them at arm’s length towards the target stanchions, and on the whistle, lifted the cap and sent a 2-3 second burst downrange. At that point they officially trained in the use of mace.Immediately afterward, the firearms and tactics trainers brought everyone back into the training room and Dan remembers 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 the optimal circumstances exist. The message was received. Almost no one used it. Ever.When someone did, they had to deal with the lingering effects of contamination with the eyes, uniforms, and squad cars. Additionally, it took a while to get a prisoner to return to any semblance of normalcy. So, instead Dan, and his fellow NY police, relied on old school tools to handle physical confrontations with suspects; fists, night sticks, mag lights and portable radios. In short, whatever was in their hands at the time. The City of New York and the NYPD both felt the need to arm their police force with a chemical irritant to have as an alternative to night sticks and more messy (potentially lethal and additional liability) tools.Collectively they have spent a fortune on the canisters which have largely gone unused on the duty rigs on tens of thousands of NYPD officers across several decades.  However, pepper spray was king, and there really wasn’t any alternatives. Dan retired from the NYPD in early 2004 and entered corporate security. In those roles he did not have to think about pepper spray as he had previously. He work with contracted guard services who primarily covered the facilities. These guards never seemed to be equipped with much of anything to use against an aggressor. The risk of having guards equipped and therefore encouraged to enter into physical confrontations is deemed too high for many.This results in truly unarmed security officers. Eyes and ears only. “While Ido not necessarily agree with this stance, I understand it.” said Dan Murphy. After leaving the corporate world, Dan was happily consulting and writing. It was then, in 2017 that he had the opportunity to meet the founder of Crotega, Jody Allen Crowe. Crowe described his invention, anew approach towards protecting people, and Dan was amazed. Jody’s ingenious creation of interior suppression systems is truly unique and revolutionary.  However, when Dan learned about 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 beyond suppression tanks. The solution is called REPULS® and its genesis goes back decades. It was invented by Oliver Nichols, a highly respected chemist who was asked to create a solution that could be sprayed on alfalfa during harvesting, and that would deter the growth of mold on the bundles. It was years later while harvesting alfalfa on his own farm that Nichols learned of the unintended benefit of it being a world class irritant. Nichols knew Crowe and recalled a conversation in which Crowe was seeking a water-based solution to use as an irritant in his suppression tanks. The rest is history. Dan thought back to his police career and how so many of hisNYPD colleagues simply never considered using their pepper spray and how many incidents likely resulted in physical confrontations which might have been ended easily 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, citing the disadvantages of pepper spray. Jody ultimately relented after seeing the many cases of civil disobedience, rioting and open attacks on property and persons that took place so memorably across the UnitedStates last year. In many cases it was clear that the officers on the frontlines dealing with those crowds might have benefitted greatly from having a REPULS canister available to easily disrupt such criminal and threatening behavior. After teaming with a globally known manufacturer of such canisters for pepper spray, Crotega has 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.Testing videos show clearly both the effectiveness and the ease of mitigation with simple water. REPULS does not require special liquids to mitigate the effects, nor is the return to normalcy a slow, painful process.These advantages combine to create a product that might actually be used with more frequency by law enforcement and avoid both dangerous and risky physical confrontations. In today’s current climate, law enforcement leaders are exploring tools to help their departments remain impactful, without causing avoidable injuries to civilians. REPULS represents that new way of thinking. Contact Crotega to learn more about the REPULS solution. Crotega.com or (612) 547-3207
April 5, 2021
April 5, 2021
Security: Expectation vs. Reality
Have you ever bought a product or service convinced what it would do, only to learn that it failed to deliver on the promise?? Of course. We all have. More than once we have read reviews of a restaurant that were stellar only to learn firsthand that the food was virtually indistinguishable from the pictures and reviews online.A very public display of such a fail occurred In November of2019. Elon Musk introduced the new Tesla Cyber truck, an SUV with modern high-end technology and a unique look.  He orchestrated a roll out event with great fanfare and global media attention.One of the more compelling arguments to buy this new truck was the safety features. The vehicle was ultra-reinforced with steel and the windows were made of “Tesla Armor Glass”.  As the press and invited guests watched, Musk had someone hit the side door with a sledge hammer and presto! Not a scratch! Next, he had someone throw a heavy ball at the driver’s side window to showcase the strength of Tesla Armor Glass. The ball was hurled and broke the window. The world saw the fail and Musk was clearly mortified. He carried on with the event, but the car was doomed. Musk had made a very public promise about his product that simply was not accurate. However good the truck may have been, it was dead on arrival to the market. It’s these sorts of disappointments and outright lies that give pause to buyers.  Sales pitches that make unbelievable promises usually are just that: unbelievable. What’s more concerning are the sales pitches and ads that are close, but not quite accurate.Especially when safety is at stake.The security industry has been guilty of this in many ways.While not always intentional, those who sell services and products in the security world have routinely promised a level of expectation that will be proven untrue when the rubber hits the road. This is not to disparage the industry or the many fine, dedicated professionals striving to protect people, but to highlight an institutional flaw. Perceptions of what constitute a secure environment are inaccurate. Many end-users of this technology say they want certain things, and nothing else. They have become accustomed to a certain typeof overall security posture and feel confident that their program will withstand any challenge. Despite countless examples disproving this notion, it remains embedded in executive’s heads. So, when selling to these decision makers, salespersons in the security world look to address the concerns and perceived needs of the client. They say they want guards, unarmed. They want CCTV and access control.That satisfies their risk management team and is baseline. They feel they can defend having only the most basic of tools. Making the sale, and not turning off the client is key. Trying to oversell is bad form, and the recurring revenues are impossible to ignore. So, they tell the client that they have a secure environment and they move on to the next potential sale. Many security industry manufacturers and service providers have embraced this baseline approach and will even openly advertise that with their service or product you will be safe. When in reality, the truth is much different. For example, security guard services exist for good reason and guards are an expected part of any commercial facility. They have their assigned responsibilities and when done properly can add a measure of protection and give all a sense of security. However, many end users do not truly understand the severe limitations that the role presents. Unarmed guards are not paid, trained or expected by their employer to stand up to armed aggressors. Yet so many who contract with those services believe they somehow will and should. This can, and has been, a disastrous unrealistic expectation.A workplace shooting at a Kraft manufacturing plant outside Pittsburgh a few years ago brought this to light. An employee who had been problematic was placed on suspension and walked out the gated, locked plant by unarmed security. She went to her car, drove around for a few minutes and returned with a .357 magnum which she pointed through the gate at the guard manning the entrance. The guard opened the gate for her as he was ordered to do, then he watched as she walked calmly into the building where she proceeded to shoot several people killing 2 before surrendering to the police. What did the guard do? Well, who could argue that opening the gate when faced with a loaded .357was the only choice he had? It’s what he did next that was the real problem. He walked away and quit the job without bothering to notify anyone of what was happening. No 911 call. NO call to the main office. Nothing. The first call to the police was from the shooter herself.Kraft was of course, horrified by these events. They filed suit against the guard services for failing to act. They felt the guard could have and should have stopped the shooter and/or denied her entrance. That was an example of a complete failure to grasp the reality of what your security dollar had purchased. In no way should anyone who is unarmed be expected to stand up to an armed aggressor. When planning for security at the location they believed that the unarmed guards and fencing would be sufficient. Expectations vs reality. Kraft won a sizable judgment against the guard company, but their unrealistic expectations played a part in deaths at their plant.In the ever-evolving world of security technology it has become commonplace for manufacturers to advertise that their product will save lives- especially against active shooters. Countless clients have made expensive purchases of products such as gunshot detection systems, locking doors, AI camera technology, access control systems, advanced CCTV systems, alert notification systems, and more. Each has a specific set of capabilities and each can be used as a part of a smart overall solution, but on its own each has severe limitations. Advertising that a detection device can save lives is a stretch of the truth. One that will inevitably be proven a lie should a gunman enter that facility.  End users place their faith in the industry professional selling the product to know what they are talking about and trust that their purchase has made all safer. In reality, detection devices detect and perhaps notify. That’s great, but that’s it. They do not save lives. They enable early detection which can help make for a faster response. It’s the responders, or the tool, that confronts the shooter and stops the shooting that has saved lives. Recently a school district in Florida announced a multi-million dollar purchase of a mass alert system for their schools. The school officials touted the purchase as the best use of their funding to ensure the safety and security of their students and staff. Many applauded this decision. However, while such alert systems can be great, and should be present in a truly comprehensive program, in and of themselves they stop nothing. This is like buying a set of wheels and thinking it’s a car. It’s one piece but far from complete.There are countless ads from industry manufacturers and service providers making claims that their product will save lives. If you challenge some to explain to exactly how their product, by itself, saves lives. They usually try and truly believe the product can, but when it’s really examined and put to tough questioning, they generally agree it has inherent limitations.We need to challenge the industry as a whole, to rethink the flawed approach of overpromising to clients. This widespread practice has hurt the reputation of the industry and decayed the trust we need to help people wisely protect themselves against harm. Let’s ask everyone who engages in this practice, whether consciously or not, to consider how you felt the last time you read a glowing review online about a restaurant, saw enticing pictures and went there for dinner.Only to be served substandard food in less than glamorous décor. Think about how disappointing that experience was and apply that to how you would feel should you set unrealistic expectations in a client to make the sale, only to watch as a tragic event disproves your promises to a global audience with loss of life. This industry secures people against theft, violence and disaster.Nothing is more important than human life. Advise clients of the benefits as well as the limitations of what you represent. That honesty is ultimately what generates a trust with clients and reflects well upon the industry as a whole.Ask tough questions about services and technology and work to get to the truth about a product’s limitations. Be wary of overpromising from sales reps constantly due to such practices. Any business is only as strong as its relationships and reputation. Contact Crotega to learn more at Crotega.com or(612) 547-3207
April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021
The Case for Assailant Suppression
“Mass casualty events”, “active shooters”…both fairly recent terms have become a part of our lives. It’s almost a regular, predictable occurrence. These tragedies do not discriminate or play favorites with venue. They happen in schools, factories, office buildings, concert halls and outdoor music festivals, hospitals, governmental facilities…anywhere and everywhere. They occur at a greater rate each year, and with what always seems like greater loss of life.These events are happening with such frequency that the news cycle for them has gone from weeks of coverage, down to a few days. We collectively are immune to the shock any longer. Crotega’s Dan Murphy was recently reflecting on his career, where he has been tasked with protecting people across the globe against acts of violence. He has held this responsibility first as a member of the New YorkCity Police Department, and then as a Chief Security Officer for global organizations. Over the years, he’s watched and studied numerous cases where gunmen have entered buildings and wounded and killed innocent persons before either giving up, committing suicide, or being captured or killed by the responding police. In each of these cases there have been lessons to be learned. The world has tried to use these lessons to find solutions to these tragedies but is still struggling.  Many argue that easy access to firearms must be stopped and that will stop these events. Some insist we must add more armed people to the mix so they can neutralize the threat quickly. Others say it’s a mental health crisis, or a societal illness brought on and nurtured by a permissive culture and a graphically violent media.  Still others say we can identify and reverse course for those headed towards violence if we learn of the situation early enough. Murphy agrees with prevention but cautions against relying too heavily on it. While addressing the greater societal issues at play will take time. “If there is one thing that I have learned for certain: if an individual decides to bring a weapon into a facility to kill, they will inevitably find a way,” said Murphy. Armed, determined killers brush through most traditional security measures like a knife through warm butter.  What’s needed most is a focus on how to mitigate the risk to all once an armed intruder gains entry with an intent to harm others. Crotega team members have been involved in the design, purchase and installation of countless security technology systems for hundreds of buildings around the world. Until now, the traditional security package has consisted of CCTV, access control/badging, unarmed security officers, door and window alarms for non-business hours, etc. These measures are typical and generally do what they are intended to do by allowing normal day-to-day activities and providing a generic layer of protection. What they don’t do is stand up against an armed intruder. This false belief is causing loss of life in active shooter situations.The security measures listed above do one of three basic things: alert, detect or record. ALL requiring a human response to remedy a given situation. No option does what is truly needed to equip a facility against a killer. Confront and suppress the shooter using non-lethal technology. The concept of Assailant Suppression was founded on the same life-saving principles as fire suppression and for the same reasons.  Fire and shooters both spread quickly, are highly lethal, and to await police or fire response means casualties.Assailant Suppression involves the use of several security technologies working in unison to accomplish what is priority #1 in these cases- Stop the Shooting ASAP. That is, stop the shooting by anyone and everyone including the police.  More rounds being fired means more risk, and generally more casualties.Too many in the security and law enforcement fields are focused on ensuring that they respond quickly, and that they work in a coordinated fashion. There is also a focus on ensuring all employees and students are trained in how to survive an active shooter situation. Yes, those pieces of the puzzle are important but none of them addresses what must be recognized as Priority#1- stop the shooting ASAP.What’s truly needed to adequately address Priority #1 is the development of comprehensive, integrated assailant suppression systems.  These systems join CCTV, access control, gunshot detection, assailant suppression systems, lockdown capabilities and live streaming video to responding police, together in a way that makes swift notifications, confronts and suppresses the actions of the shooter, and provides real time, accurate images to ensure a safer, and serves properly as a focused response. Once this becomes the main focus and the highest priority, we will see shooting cases that are over either before or immediately after they begin, less loss of life and a greater sense of societal relief from the terrible tragedies we have become almost immune to shock from. History has shown us that current methods are failing consistently. We rely too much on equipment not intended to stop shooters, and on the individual actions of people scared to death during an active shooter scenario. It’s time to introduce the existing technologies that can be built in to facilities to ensure it is where you want it, when you need it. Contact Crotega to learn more at Crotega.com or (612) 547-3207
April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021
REPULS Wins 2020 Astors Homeland Security Award
Crotega is proud to receive the 2020 Platinum Award from American Security Today for the Best Less Lethal Tactical Equipment.
April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021
REPULS Puts Safety First
Crotega's REPULS® is paving the way for the next generation of chemical irritants. Intense irritation to eyes causing involuntary eye closure, irritation to nasal passages, throat, and lungs. Off-gas irritation is not debilitating for those in close proximity. An arresting officer can approach and detain safely. Mitigation for eye irritation will naturally occur when areas around the eyes are dry or flushed with water. One bottle of water poured over the suspect’s head and face can mitigate the irritation within seconds. When the REPULS dries, the irritating agent is no longer active. No need for additional cleaning for vehicles or uniforms. Contact Crotega to learn more at Crotega.com or (612) 547-3207
April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021
REPULS - A better way than pepper spray.
REPULS - A better way than pepper spray. Law enforcement is starting to switch from their current OC product to REPULS because of its benefits.
April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021

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