Friday, October 16, 2009


Derek being sprayed with OC

Last week all recruits got OC’ed. OC, for those of you that do not know what the acronym stands for, we got pepper sprayed. I would have to say, after careful consideration and comparisons to all the other things I have done and all the things that have happened to me during my life, this was truly the worst.

Stephen punching the dummy for 30 seconds after being sprayed

As part of the drill the recruits must face three continuous simulations under the influence of the pepper spray. After being sprayed in the eyes and obviously the face and other exposed areas, the first simulation was to react to a simulated fight by striking a dummy for 30 seconds. This is followed immediately by a combat walk down the side of a building and arresting a suspect. This is followed immediately by a simulated reaction to a bad guy with a gun. The suspect might give up, releasing the gun, or give up and not drop the gun or may turn and attempt to shoot the arresting officer. This simulation is done with a paint gun.

Jamie punching the dummy for 30 seconds after being sprayed

The whole event was done in a very controlled environment. The purpose of this simulation is show each recruit how it feels to be OCed and to know how to react to various situations under the effects of the spray. Each of us now know that we will be able to fight through a pepper spray incident. This situation is no longer an unknown and therefore is not a fear to be conquered. We have already done that. This, in itself, is very important. To have the confidence that if this happens, you know what it feels like, you know it is going to be uncomfortable but you also know that you can react and function under the influence of the spray.

Baloo after being OC'd

Now for what being OCed really feels like. Everyone reacts a little different but for me, it feels like a sun burn that you get when falling asleep on the beach without sunscreen but maybe a little oil on your skin to intensify the action of the sun. Everything burns and your eyes shut involuntary. Now this intense burning experience last for a total of about 30 to 45 minutes. Then, and here is the real treat of OC, the chemicals on your face get reactivated when mixed with water. Therefore, every time you take a shower you get to relive the wonderful experience all over again. In other words, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

It took me about 3 to 4 showers before I had absolutely no sensation of burning on my face, eyes or any where else the OC spray had reached, either directly or indirectly through washing. Not to mention that once the water used to clear your eyes and face comes into contact with the pepper spray, whatever that water touches gets OC on it and the burning starts over in different locations. I will leave it up to the reader to create a mental picture of the potential problems that this redistribution of the contaminated water over, shall we say, the more sensitive portions of the male and female body, poses when you are taking a shower.
For all of you future recruits or others that might be inclined to put themselves in opposition to law enforcement, trying to earn the possibility of being OCed, you have been warned.

Until next time…..