TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - A new crime-fighting tool is about to hit the streets in the hands of Texarkana police officers and Miller County, Texas Sheriff's deputies.
Officers are training on the use of a powerful new pepper gun that promises higher accuracy and the power to stop even the most uncooperative subjects in their tracks.
The JPX Cobra shoots out a concentrated mist of water and Cayenne pepper measuring at 400,000 Scoville heat units, several times hotter than a jalapeno pepper.
"It shoots pepper spray at 405 miles per hour and is designed to drop guys on bath salt, PCP and other hard narcotics," explains instructor Daron Teeders. "The Scoville heat units in it is twice as hot as anything on the market."
It's intended to provide an alternative less accurate pepper sprays and tasers that can malfunction when the prongs dislodge. The taser also knocks people unconscious, causing the potential for injury when they fall.
Sgt. Shawn Vaughn with the Texarkana, TX Police Department says, "We don't want any instances where we have to progress to the point of using deadly force if we can avoid it and this just provides us with another option."
As part of the training, officers got a taste of the Cobra spray and a sampling on the skin of their faces. While there was no taste, they say the burning sensation is intense.
Even some non-law enforcement onlookers, including Texarkana resident Phyll Walsh, sampled the sting of the powerful solution. "It's been about 15 minutes and it is still hotter than the hottest jalepeno. I can't imagine functioning with it in your eyes."
A shot aimed at the face is said to be completely incapacitating, with effects that last 30 to 45 minutes.
Texarkana, Arkansas and Texas police officials say they hope to have the new tool on the streets as soon as possible.