New pepper spray system delivers safe, but spicy impact

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

The Corsicana Police Department is making use of a new piece of non-lethal technology to provide a safe, but highly effective means apprehending suspects.

Sitting down with Chief of Police Robert Johnson, the officer shared some background on the police department’s newest apprehension tool: The JPX Pepper Gun, an advanced oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray) delivery system which provides an effective deterrent for making arrests.

“That was a concern of our supervisory team,” said Johnson. “We go over on a regular basis our use of force policy, which we review each year. We were trying to find what else is out there.”

The JPX delivery system Intended as an alternative to the standard conducted electrical weapon deterrent, which on average delivers a 50,000 volt charge. Unlike a CEW, which may not penetrate heavy clothing or be ineffective against suspects high on methamphetamine, the JPX discharges a glob of potent OC that sticks and spreads upon contact to incapacitate the suspect.

Johnson referred to the JPX as “a step above” the standard pepper spray, with a range of 21 feet, a laser to better pinpoint aiming, and has a cartridge that fires two shots per magazine. The JPX also offers less risk of cross contamination in a crowd situation, and less training time for an officer to familiarize themselves with the mid-range deterrent.

Stock photo of a JPX OC delivery system with laser attachment. – Courtesy photo

“The beautiful thing about the JPX delivery system is that number one, it’s roughly the same cost,” Johnson said. “It’s cheaper for us to maintain as they don’t break. There’s not a lot of moving electronic parts in these.”

“You don’t want harm to come to the suspect,” Johnson said. “You don’t want harm to come to the officer, but you want something that’s going to be as good or better than what you had. And this just happens to be as good or better than what we have for the suspects and for the officers themselves.”

Once administered, and the suspect has been apprehended, Johnson added that while the officers will wash the spray off the offender, it takes time before the effects of the OC wear off.

“This spray is over 500 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper,” Johnson said.

The JPX cartridges use Piexol, a cayenne pepper extract. The deterrent is rated with a stinging capacity of 400,000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale (with a heat rating of “6” – comparative to the Red Savina Habanero pepper).

The Corsicana Police Department purchased five of the JPX delivery systems back in October of 2020. After a three-month trial period, and a reported ease of use and comfort for the officers, the department voted to make the deterrent tool part of their regular field equipment.

“We try to keep up with what’s out there and what is within our grasp to obtain and keep everybody safe,” Johnson said. “Including the people we have to arrest.”

Corsicana Police Officer Jarrett Girard models the new JPX delivery system (in orange) on his belt. – Photo by Guy Chapman

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