Pepper spray and me

Monday, January 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

Did you know that to carry pepper spray in Florida as a police office, you must first be sprayed with it? When I joined my department, two men and I met in street clothes and old T-shirts for the “blessing.” Each of us had a bucket of cold water with which to rinse. We each took a shot straight to the eyes (which were closed) and had to wait a second or two before dunking our heads into the water for a little relief. The thing with pepper spray is, just lilke a burn to your hand, it feels okay when it’s submerged, but not so hot when it’s out of the water. So the longer I could hold my breath, the more relief I could feel. Everytime I brought my head up from the water, I could hear the two other guys screaming and cussing. I realized they had never been through childbirth.

At some point, you have to give up on the dunking and move on with your life. Keeping my head out of the water was challenging. I used a towel to wipe off what I could. The burning eased up until I took a shower, and no matter how cold the water, just like with a sunburn, it still stung.

Pepper spray is tough stuff. In the right situation, it’s a powerful tool. Trust me, I know.

Categories: On the Job

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