Spotlight: Reflex Protect Tactical gives LE a new gold standard in less-lethal spray products
The company's products give officers fast-acting and far-reaching low use-of-force options that are affordable for every agency
Company name: Reflex Protect Tactical
Headquarters: Missoula, Mt.
Signature Product: Reflex Protect and Reflex Remove
1. Where did your company name originate from?
Reflex Protect originated from the idea of providing individuals with protection that performs as easily as a reflex. Protective measures are successful when practiced over and over, so that in the moment, muscle memory takes over. Our products are designed to be so easy and intuitive to use, their use is second nature, like a reflex. Our product name – Presidia – comes from the Latin word for protect (think of "The Presidio military post protected San Francisco Bay").
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Inventor Steve Mangold, a lifetime hunter, NRA member, and military veteran wondered if his patented Reflex pistol-style spray head, designed to improve bear spray effectiveness and safety, might be even more useful in the non-lethal market. He approached Joe Anderson, a fellow Montanan and successful entrepreneur, with the idea. What Steve didn't know was that Joe's entrepreneurial career began in response to a gunman entering his former law firm in 1993 and killing nine people and wounding six more, including friends and colleagues.
Joe recognized the far-reaching potential of Steve's intuitive invention and together they set out to develop the most effective less-lethal tools, technologies, and training to protect and empower a nation.
The result is Reflex Protect, a safety preparedness company dedicated to minimizing suffering from violence for everyone, everywhere. The company created the first "hospital safe" active defense solution by adding Steve's Reflex spray head to a brand-new non-aerosol sticky CS formula called Presidia Gel that could be safely deployed inside a sensitive environment without contamination. Then came Reflex Remove, a game-changing decontaminant that cleaned up so quickly and completely, it was as if nothing ever happened. Superior civilian training and protocols were offered to ensure safe use of the products and increased workplace safety and security. Reflex Protect Tactical is the newest division, focused entirely on law enforcement and corrections, security, military forces, and government agencies and their training at the hands of established lead LE instructors.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Our signature product is actually a double header. First is Reflex Protect less-lethal spray. Its innovative liquid Presidia Gel delivers involuntary eye closure and incapacitating pain, is target specific, doesn't atomize or cross contaminate, and isn't flammable. A 5 oz. canister deploys product with our double-safety Reflex trigger spray head (also used on the First Defense MK-9), and our 1.9 oz. is a flip-top duty belt size (soon to be followed by the taller RP4 version).
Its antidote is Reflex Remove, a brand-new solution that provides relief from Presidia Gel on contact and decons in 5 minutes or less. That's eyes open, able to function and grateful that the previous pain now is manageable. It's available in aerosol or a liquid solution. (Reflex Remove also works on OC, but not as rapidly, as OC is oil based.)
The combination of these two products is the most significant innovation in the less-lethal spray industry in over four decades.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
Reviewing less-lethal use-of-force protocols and technology is now a priority for law enforcement and government officials charged with funding these departments. Everyone is looking for solutions that are affordable and work safely and efficiently. Our innovative products tic all these boxes. They also do things that no other less-lethal spray on the market can do precisely because our products were created to solve a violence problem from the POV of medical professionals who needed efficient protection inside a sensitive environment and a way to quickly reverse those incapacitating effects. What is safe for hospital use now gives LE a new gold standard in use of force with profound possibilities for policing.
We believe that is why LE who have experienced our products use terms like "game-changer" and "liquid gold." They tell us how much more frequently they would choose to use our product than other sprays in similar situations, and have even used their own uniform budgets to purchase our products! No surprise, as with our products officers can use our spray to hit a specific target (even when in a group or indoors in a small space like a cell), with no cross-contamination and then decon the target within minutes.
Thus, officers and other security personnel know that when they spray a subject up to 18 feet away to maintain control of a situation, the entire experience will be over in minutes, from incapacitation to clean-up. The subject is subdued, secured and deconned on site with no officer cross-contamination, then transported without extended wait times in a sally port.
The officers need no time off-duty for uniform changes and showering. For training purposes (either at the academy or in re-certification), being sprayed and recovering will no longer be a painful, extended affair (multi-hours and then re-activating the oil in OC again when showering). Training class time is slashed, a bonus for supervisors in charge of keeping officers on duty in the field.
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Our biggest challenge is communicating that although our formula uses chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS), it is NOT the CS that everyone is familiar with. Our gel formula acts and responds differently than your "grandfather's CS" tear gas, but still people make assumptions about our product that don't apply at all. We commissioned a tactical medical white paper to covers all this at length. In addition, the safety profile of this product is why Presidia Gel has been approved for use (and vetted through legal channels) within hospital environments. Point in fact, Presidia Gel is far safer than OC, because it doesn't aerosolize and impact everyone and also because it doesn't cause respiratory inflammation.
6. What makes your company unique?
We didn't start as an LE-focused company. We made our products to help nurses and doctors facing an epidemic of workplace violence. Turns out, a spray and decon combo purpose-built for healthcare also solved a whole host of problems LEOs faced.
We are the first innovation in four decades to happen to the less-lethal spray industry. Ours is a completely new formula that acts and responds differently than any other spray can. Adding our Reflex Remove decon solution creates a novel and completely winning combination. It allows any front-line professional to spray, detain, decon and move forward. Gone are the days of contaminating an entire room, squad car or group of individuals. LEOs can now hit a specific target, even indoors, and decon in minutes. It's about being able to detain the subject that is causing harm to create a safe environment as quickly as possible.
7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
Our products give officers and corrections professionals fast-acting and far-reaching low use-of-force options that are affordable for every agency.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Every day our first responders and frontline workers wake up, kiss their loved one's goodbye, and go protect and serve our communities. They serve knowing they might not come home one day. They wear the badge or the scrubs because they want, with all their hearts, to do good for our world. Our company provides them the special tools that will allow them to do their jobs – to efficiently and effectively focus and resolve the issues at hand – to the best of their ability and reduce the impact of violence on all members of our society. Serving this community is both a pleasure and an honor.
9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety or the community? Tell us more.
Reflex Protect works with charitable organizations on an individual basis. As a new division, Reflex Protect Tactical has plans in the works and will highlight them here as soon as we do.
10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you'd like to share about your company?
Reflex Protect is an American success story about design and innovation for the greater good. Our headquarters are in Montana (where both of our founders were born and raised), but we have core team members spread from California to Florida and Ohio. We conceptualize our products, manufacture, fill and ship all our products from right here in America, making us 100% USA made.
11. What's next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
Our focus is on constantly innovating less-lethal tools. We are putting the finishing touches on the first Picatinny rail-mounted less-lethal delivery device for Presidia Gel, allowing law enforcement to immediately transition from a distance-appropriate pepper ball launcher to more close encounter spray without changing weapons.