The Evolution of Less-Lethal Sprays: Targeted, Fast, Reversible (Videos)

Cutting-edge "Hospital Safe" Presidia Gel formula from Reflex protect, a new version of the trusted CS agent commonly used in law enforcement and riot control, delivers rapid onset temporary blindness and intense pain, debilitating the attacker until help arrives.

Guest OpEd by Joe Anderson, CEO of Reflex Protect

Why has a 50-year-old tried and true tool used by law enforcement received a complete and innovative overhaul? 

You can thank the healthcare industry.

While we all understand the danger law enforcement faces, did you know that 7 out of 10 workplace violence injury claims are from nurses, doctors, and aides?

Just like law enforcement, frontline healthcare workers must face anyone who comes through their doors into their crowded facilities.

Options for controlling those who become violent – or delusional from medical complications – simply cannot cause lasting harm or compromise other patients.

(Active defense spray Reflex Protect Presidia Gel and Reflex Remove decontaminant were purpose-built for sensitive healthcare environments, including Emergency Departments and Urgent Care clinics. See how Presidia Gel can safely incapacitate one person without affecting someone standing nearby, and then learn exactly how to administer Reflex Remove to quickly and completely reverse any effects on the subject. Courtesy of Reflex Protect and YouTube.)

It’s true that less-lethal sprays have been a fixture in law enforcement, corrections, and homeland security since the late 1960s.

Being able to deter or inhibit a group or individual from a distance without injury is a welcome tool to any officer or security professional.

That being said, law enforcement officers have learned from personal experience the unfortunate downsides of using pepper spray (also called OC because of the oily extract of pepper plants called oleoresin capsicum).

Reflex Protect Presidia Gel 1.9oz
Reflex Protect Presidia Gel 1.9oz
  • It’s messy. Everything (vehicles and equipment) and everyone (subject, officers, other first responders, and innocent bystanders) gets contaminated.

    • Cleanup is intensive and time-consuming. This isn’t a minor matter – cross contamination has rendered sprays unusable in sensitive locations and most indoor environments.

  • It’s slow. Total incapacitation doesn’t happen right away, so hands-on confrontation is often needed to restrain the subject.

Reflex Protect Presidia Gel 5oz
Reflex Protect Presidia Gel 5oz
    • Injuries to both officers and subjects can result.

  • The effects are long-term and punitive, lasting long after a non-compliant or violent subject is rendered compliant.

    • Every cadet in the academy and officer during retraining knows first-hand how pepper spray is the unwanted gift that keeps on giving, even re-activating after a shower.

It took the steadily increasing rates of violence in hospitals to finally raise the acute need for a purpose-built hospital solution.

It would need to work fast, be easy to deploy, target just the person acting out, be quickly reversible, while also being safe and compassionate enough for any doctor or nurse to use without hesitation.

My safety preparedness company Reflex Protect® created a novel solution by working with a regional hospital:  active-defense spray Reflex Protect with Presidia Gel® and its partner antidote, Reflex Remove®.

(Patented Reflex technology spray head is as intuitive to use as a squirt-gun and extremely accurate, allowing frontline personnel to be their own first responders. Just thumb the safety up, aim for the assailant’s face, and pull the trigger. Courtesy of Reflex Protect and YouTube.)

Presidia Gel is a sticky liquid spray (no cross contamination) with the fastest onset incapacitation (involuntary eye closure and pain) on the market.

The double-safety spray head is as easy to use as a spray bottle. After help has arrived, the Reflex Remove antidote will soothe on contact, and completely reverses Presidia Gel’s effects within five minutes.  Both products are manufactured in the U.S.

Law enforcement quickly realized Reflex Protect’s innovation as a game-changing low use-of-force tool indoors and out. Being able to quickly isolate and control a subject at a distance dramatically reduces injuries.

Officers are even using their own uniform allowances so they can carry this less-lethal option on their duty belts.

They also appreciate not needing time out of service to decontaminate a subject. This process often takes an hour for pepper spray instead of the 5 minutes with Reflex Remove.

Police academy cadets and established law enforcement going through mandatory re-certification will also appreciate minutes of pain instead of the extended misery from pepper spray exposure.

(Hear direct from Reflex Protect CEO, Joe Anderson as he iss sprayed with Presidia Gel CS Self-Defense Spray. Reflex Protect’s Reflex Remove, the best CS Decontaminate Solution on the market, is demonstrated as well. It’s easy to use and quickly cleans up any Presidia Gel. Courtesy of Reflex Protect and YouTube.)

A defense spray that is hospital-safe should, of course, be the gold standard within healthcare environments.

However, this innovation is equally purpose-built for law enforcement officers or those within government facilities – corrections to courthouses, capitols to commissaries – tasked with keeping employees and the public safe without lasting effects.

About the Author

Joe Anderson, CEO of Reflex Protect
Joe Anderson, CEO of Reflex Protect

Joe Anderson is the CEO of Reflex Protect, Revolutionizing Non-Lethal Defense®, and can be reached at

Reflex Protect® is a Missoula, Montana-based safety preparedness company that introduced the first and only hospital-safe and extremely efficient Presidia Gel® self-defense spray and fast-acting Reflex Remove® decon for frontline healthcare workers and hospital security in Emergency Departments nationwide.

In 2020, the company unveiled Reflex Protect® Tactical to set a new  gold standard in use of force  with profound possibilities for policing and corrections. 

Now officers have a less-lethal spray that will immediately shut the eyes of a target subject up to 18 feet away without impacting anyone else (indoors, in a vehicle, or in a cell).

After restraints are in place, full decon can happen on site in 5 minutes.

This protocol reduces injuries to officers and subjects and returns LEOs back to duty in minutes. 

Reflex Protect products are 100% conceived, designed, and manufactured in America.   

To Learn More, go to

Related Technology…

Crotega, LLC Takes Platinum in 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is today in its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer, David Pekoske
David Pekoske, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer

American Security Today is pleased to announce TSA Administrator  David Pekoske, will join the organization as a featured speaker at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon, on November 18, 2021 at ISC East in New York City.

“On the heels of an unprecedented global pandemic, continued unrest in our cities and potentially catastrophic cyberattacks on our nations critical infrastructure, the focus of the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be on the latest, state-of-the-art innovations that are driving investments in new public security and safety technologies and systems,” said AST Editorial and Managing Director Tammy Waitt.

“As a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security, David Pekoske’s message highlighting his top priorities and challenges for the TSA based on his years of wide-ranging experience will be critical to our attendees internalizing the critical nature of these escalating challenges, and realizing innovative new approaches to meet them.”

Crotega, LLC

Best Less Lethal Tactical Equipment


  • The patented REPULS is a new generation of chemical irritant unlike any other irritant on the market.

  • REPULS has a pungent odor and the same irritant qualities as pepper spray, OC, CS, which causes involuntary eye closure, highly irritating to the eyes, nose, nasal passages, throat, lungs, and skin.

REPULS Water-based irritant is available in Police Duty Belt Model MK-4 (3.5 oz size, measures 6-1/4" H x 1-1/2" D) 100 grams, with a target range of 15 feet.
REPULS Water-based irritant is available in Police Duty Belt Model MK-4 (3.5 oz size, measures 6-1/4″ H x 1-1/2″ D) 100 grams, with a target range of 15 feet.
  • REPULS can be mitigated with one bottle of water poured over the suspects head, and when the spray dries, the irritating agent is no longer active, unlike pepper spray, which remains in the environment until deep cleaned.

  • Arresting officer can deploy REPULS, approach and detain a subject without contamination.

  • Additionally, an arresting officer can bring the suspect to booking without the need for de-contamination of either the suspect or the officer’s squad car, saving hours of time for officer as compared to the decontamination time with pepper spray.

  • *Crotega was also recognized in the 2019, 2018 and 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Programs.

The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors
ATI SystemsAttivo NetworksAutomatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at

Comprehensive List of Categories Include:

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
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Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!
COVID Innovations And Many Others!


Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has occurred across all fifty states in the America.

With the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the safety and security industries has realized the need to increase innovations to address the daily growing challenges.

As such AST aims to make sure these firms and professionals are reflected in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, so we’d like to encourage you to submit appropriate categories recommendations and include COVID-19 Frontline Professionals in your Nominations to see that these Professionals, Facilities, and Vendors receive the Recognition they Deserve!

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at:

Register for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Luncheon Today

2019 'ASTORS' Awards Program Banquet Luncheon
2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program Banquet Luncheon

At ISC East 2021 you with the opportunity to interact with a broad array of security industry professionals.

ISC East works closely with other businesses in the security and public safety space to help bring together the Northeast’s largest security trade show each year.

In collaboration with premier sponsor SIA (Security Industry Association) and in partnership with ASIS NYC, ISC East is proud to work with and be supported by various associations, trade publications, charities, and more.

Therefore, the ISC audience of security dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, corporate, government and law enforcement/first responder practitioners will be joined by the ASIS NYC audience of major corporate managerial-through-director-level national and global security executives.

The combination of one-on-one conversations with the industry’s top innovators,  integrators and security executives, special events, high-quality education and training, and strong support from industry associations, will allow attendees to learn and evaluate solutions from leading security exhibitors and brands. 

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

Your ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon registration includes complimentary attendee access to ISC East – Thank take advantage of this exclusive luncheon opportunity to take a break from the show – Invite your team, guests, clients and show visitors to a lovely and affordable plated meal event in the heart of New York City, for  a fabulous networking opportunity!

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***Limited space available so Register Today. There will be no on-site registrations.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

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AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Check Out the New 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.

The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

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Non-Lethal REPULS Spray Takes Platinum in 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards