Taking Sides: The Age of Compassionate Control By Joe Anderson

June 22, 2020

Taking Sides: The Age of Compassionate Control By Joe Anderson

In all of my 55 years, having lived in rural Montana, Washington, D.C., Northern and Southern California, and Oxford, England, 2020 stands out as a year of divisiveness and side taking.  It’s been pervasive and loud: red/blue, us/them, safety/economy, black/white, and perceived right/wrong. 

In the past two weeks, my company has contemplated these “sides.” Why must we define ourselves in these ways?  What value comes from creating divisions?  We talked about the concept of neutrality, and whether we could or even should be the Switzerland of non-lethal self-defense.  Would choosing neutrality diminish our mission of providing peace of mind? 

Our team conversations deepened, guided by input from the range of perspectives represented within our organization. The description at the heart of our best practices anti-violence safety-preparedness solution had been “empowering the exercise of compassionate controlling force from a distance over potentially violent situations.” We have now refined our mission to be simpler, more elegant, and far bolder:


Reflex Protect is dedicated to the alleviation of unnecessary suffering due to violent threats for everyone, everywhere.

The development of innovative non-lethal Reflex Protect tools allowed for the creation of the very concept of “compassionate control” as the least amount of force required to stop violence or a violent threat with the least amount of injury or lasting harm as possible. It’s controlling force that is fast, distant, as directed or target specific as possible, rapidly effective, and then quickly reversible.


Nurses Focused on Compassion

Compassionate control is vital in a healthcare setting, and this is where we began our business. Caregivers and hospital administrations have for decades accepted that a certain amount of physical danger and injury were simply “part of the job.” While a medical professional may face the threat of assault from a visitor or a distraught family member, violence upon caregivers is most often at the hands of an agitated patient.  Caregivers should not have to suffer injury, full stop.  But ethics and training make it difficult for them to cause harm even to a violent patient, let alone to other innocents that might be affected or cross-contaminated.

But here comes the hard truth, from studying actual encounters: not responding actively actually often results in injured patient, caregiver, and security because the only option available in this setting is for hospital security to engage the patient hands-on!


“Hospital Safe” Solution

Intuitive and accurate Reflex Protect® with Presidia Gel® allows a caregiver to respond effectively to threatened violence before the assault becomes a battery, quickly subduing the patient/assailant.  As soon as proper restraints have been applied and the threat has passed, the caregiver can then employ Reflex Remove™ to reverse the uncomfortable effects of Presidia Gel in minutes. This unique combination of assets has made Reflex Protect the only “hospital safe” anti-violence safety preparedness solution ever produced.

Hospital safe is truly everywhere safe, and so schools quickly adopted Reflex Protect as the solution to the “arm the teachers debate,” in large measure because the product’s contained effect and rapid reversibility provided an effective answer to “what if” questions about misuse or accidentally hitting innocents.  Local government offices, bars & restaurants, and houses of worship followed, and soon Reflex Protect was delivering the power of compassionate controlling force from a distance over potentially violent situations wherever people lived, worked, prayed, and played.


Law Enforcement Seal of Approval

In many locations, our growing customer base reached out to law enforcement for its opinion on Reflex Protect as a new option. The response surprised us, because it was not our original intention to create a new tool for law enforcement. Nonetheless, the response was clear – Reflex Protect could serve as the most significant innovation in less-than-lethal in decades for the professionals as well.

The events of June 2020 accelerated the need for an innovative controlling force option for law enforcement in its relationship to the citizenry it is sworn to protect. Reflex Protect is becoming the obvious first option if verbal de-escalation is not timely or unsuccessful, as it will not cause the kind of lasting harm that broad-acting pepper sprays, tear gas, batons, hands-on combat, rubber bullets and other high-velocity projectiles, Tasers, and other less-than-lethal tools (let alone firearms) can.

Giving officers a highly effective option that solves the problems inherent in other chemical agents will provide them the means and opportunity to minimize the amount of force and consequent harm that can come from it. Reflex Protect uniquely provides this new tool, and police departments across the country have begun responding to its timely availability with extreme positivity.


Rapid Decontamination For Multiple Products

Reflex Remove decontaminant is also just as impactful for law enforcement, EMT/first responders, and even demonstrators and protestors themselves. It gives all these people the ability to reverse the effects of tear gas and pepper sprays once any threat justifying their use has abated.  Those chemical agents are indiscriminate in their effect – anyone and everyone, including bystanders, journalists, on-scene medical professionals, and law enforcement itself, can suffer from their effects, and that suffering can go on for hours or days. This is unnecessary suffering, and milk, water, and other home remedies offer nothing like the rapid chemical neutralization, cleaning, and soothing effects of patent-pending Reflex Remove.

For our company, compassionate control means alleviating unnecessary suffering due to violent threats for everyone, everywhere. The suffering may be the loss of peace of mind over concerns about a school shooter, a dangerous patient, or the trauma felt by those badly injuring another human being even in self-defense. Allowing the citizenry to be more self-reliant and safer during the response gap, providing law enforcement with a superior early-confrontation tool, and giving everyone the means to reverse chemical agents more rapidly and effectively than previously possible is the essence of our mission.

It also means Reflex Protect has chosen to take a side.  That side is humanity.  We are on the side of human health and well-being.  As we’re all human beings, we’re choosing to be on everyone’s side, and that is far from neutral. It is, instead, new, modern, timely, and needed.

Joe Anderson is CEO of Reflex Protect

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