The Protectors® Podcast

#456 | ASP Roundtable| Evolution and Innovation in Law Enforcement Training and Equipment

September 21, 2023 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 456
The Protectors® Podcast
#456 | ASP Roundtable| Evolution and Innovation in Law Enforcement Training and Equipment
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how modern training systems within law enforcement and civilian markets are evolving? Join the conversation with Daryell Harmon, James Schramm and Mike Dice from Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) as they unpack the journey. From the original expandable baton through to push-button batons, solid training weapons and tactical flashlights, the face of law enforcement tools is changing. The trio illuminate these changes, and give us unique insights into how ASP uses feedback from the field to innovate and better serve these critical sectors.

The discussion doesn't stop at batons and flashlights. We also delve into the crucial significance of handcuffs, and how ASP has led the industry with design and training innovations. The transition from the traditional Swing Through Bow cuff to the modern keyless double locking cuff revolutionizes security and officer safety. We bust common myths about handcuffing, and shed light on the game-changing Plus Cuff.

Lastly, ever thought about your own personal safety? ASP's Be Your Own Defender initiative empowers civilians with law enforcement techniques, helping them to take control of their own protection. We explore this empowering initiative in-depth, discussing the practical Defender kit and ASP's commitment to offering free training. 

https://www.asp-usa.com/

https://www.asp-usa.com/pages/training-programs

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Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


Speaker 1:

Hey, really cool show today with the guys from Armament Systems and Procedures, asp. I have Darrell Harman, james Tram and Mike Dice, all coming from major, large scale agencies now working with ASP, in just incredible conversation today about their products, about the training systems they have out there, not only for law enforcement but the ones they're going to have for the civilian market. So check out this awesome conversation with ASP. Hey, welcome to the Protectors Podcast. I'm really excited about this podcast because one, now that we have the Protectors Foundation full swing ahead and we are helping out the protectors on the front lines, this organization, this company, really, really stepped up and has been supporting the foundation, providing training equipment. Excited to talk about it, but I'm also excited to talk about the modernization of this company. Since 20 plus years ago, when I went into federal law enforcement, to now, asp has gone so far from when I originally first started using ASP. Whether it's the ASP, whether it's handguns, whether it's anything, any training equipment, any tactical equipment you need. It has changed so much. Welcome to the show, guys. Feel free to just chime in and say who you are in just a quick two seconds.

Speaker 2:

Jason, I'm Darrell Harmon, and thank you, man. It's a privilege to be here on this podcast with you and with my other two cohorts that we have. I'm the VP of sales with ASP. We've been around since 1976 as a company itself, and our training has went from an expandable baton out to batons that have a push button type closure to them, to concealable batons for the executive protection officer, to having solid training weapons, to having training weapons you can manipulate magazines out of, to having multiple different styles of restraints, both hard and soft, disposable restraints, and then tactical flashlights. We are just excited about where we've come from and what we have in store in the future.

Speaker 3:

Hey, jason, thanks for having me on. My name is James Shram, talking about the evolution of training. I became an ASP trainer nearly 20 years ago and I like what you're saying. When you first started using ASP Back then, training consisted only of the expandable baton for our trainer certification. It has since changed drastically, since 2004 to now, where we incorporate flashlights and handcuffs. Soon we're going to be talking about the civilian market or pepper spray or defender.

Speaker 4:

Jason. Yes, thanks for having us on the show, very humbled. My name is Mike Dice. Again, I was hired on in 2015 as a trainer. I can tell you one thing about our company the camaraderie that we have is unlike anything I've ever experienced. We have some of the best people, some of the best trainers worldwide. Sometimes we get together once a year, sometimes we get together every couple of years, and I'll tell you what it's unlike anything I've ever been a part of. So thanks for having us and looking forward to it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the training piece is huge. We're going to really get into that. We're really going to hit that home in a little while. But there's one thing that always bothered me. I love ASP. I used to carry it when I was in a boarder patrol. We had to have something either pepper spray or an ASP. We had to have the expandable baton and I know one thing is like when you extend it and having to get it back into place has been the biggest gripe ever. And then when I talked to you all back in SHOT Show, it was like no, we got the new products. Not only do we have the push button products, which is, believe me, it's like a game changer, because can you imagine you're in someone's like you know, double wide, you're in someone's apartment, you're in someone's house and you go. Okay, it's for everybody out there new to law enforcement equipment when you extend a baton, you have to get the baton back into place, get it back into battery. In order to do that, a lot of times you would have to, like, bang it on a hard surface and that means you're going to bang it on a floor. Now, I don't know how many people have done it. I wish there was a study but you bang a baton on the floor and it leaves like a little indentation or something like that, a little concrete. But now you get the push button. So nowadays we're in the new century where you just push that button, boom, it's back. And also, the other thing with the new expandable batons is the executive protection ones. I mean, these fit in your suit pocket or anything. So let's talk about the development of this and obviously you guys are taking the input from the field and employing it in the marketing not just the marketing, but in the production of it.

Speaker 2:

Well, jason, what I'll do is I'll jump on how we got there and then I'll pass it over to my guys here who are trainers and let them talk about the use scene, the usages of it and what we're going to do and what they specialize in especially. And so we pride ourselves as a company, taking information back from the field and really putting it into research and development and making something as a worthwhile product. I kind of get on my boss's good, bad nerve side. Everyone's walks. I'm like, hey, sir, we are first and foremost a training company. And he looks at me and he's like, no, we're a manufacturer. And I'm like, no, we just happen to manufacture the best products in the world. We are first and foremost a training company. And in that training company we do really take stuff back from the field. And what we heard was hey, banging friction lock batons on the ground is just rough. You know, that's dinosaur, that's seriously old head, right. So a friction lock is like an old wheel gun. It's always going to work, right. If you have an revolver, it's really simple bullet trigger, hammer slams, bullet goes out, right, it's great. Well, it's like that with the friction baton. So we listen to the field and there are some people like man, when you're smacking that baton on the ground, it's violent, looking, right, you might have just had to use it on someone to gain compliance, and now you're using this violent action to close it. And hey, and you know, some of the younger guys are a little softer and you know, kindler, gentler, some of us are getting up a little older and our knees don't bend as easy Sounds like rice paper when we're trying to bend down. And so we needed to find a way to be able to close the baton efficiently and effectively in its action. So that's why we came up with what we came up with and then saying, hey, there are more than just the street beat guys who are out there who need this, and there's a lot of guys in executive protection, there's a lot of guys doing plainclothes security. Maybe we should get something for them. Even the detective, the plainclothes guy who goes out there I know it's hard to believe, but even they talk to bad guys, right, I mean, they deal with people at their houses who maybe murdered suspects, and you need something between your fists and bang. And so that's what we did with our, why we did what we did with our expandable batons.

Speaker 4:

All right. So when we're out there teaching, I mean our job's pretty easy, jason, and I always tell all the students I said, listen, you can design the perfect baton for your liking If you don't have a specific SOP that dictates what you have to carry in your agency. We have a lot of options and one of them being the Talon Baton. Right and like Adarel alluded to, nobody's getting any younger and you could. You know, I've done classes where we lose half the class on just the closing because you got to bend down. People are throwing their backs out, people throwing their knees out. So now I got a Talon Baton, I can open it with my hand and I can close it in my hand. I mean it's so simple. So I mean our job is very easy. So when I do that demonstration in a class, people are like, wow, what can I get my hands on? Let me see it. So we're not only gonna teach or show a PowerPoint and kind of do the specs, and then you know, let you know how it all operates, and then we're gonna transition and actually let you use it and actually go through drills and actually let you get used to it, and by the end of these classes. I mean, they're coming to it and they're coming to us and letting us like wow, I got to get my hands on one of these things, so our job is pretty easy. It's the cat's meow, so to speak.

Speaker 3:

With that said, it's funny, our training, our three day training courses for instructors there's still a lot of people that use quote, unquote the antiquated baton, the Fritzelach baton. So we have to still train them in how to use it and teach it to the guys that are still carrying it. Some agencies don't have the budget to go and get the newer baton, the town baton. What's something that some officers don't realize is the scabbard they carry for their Fritzelach allows them to put the baton away. If they don't have the opportunity to close it, they can put the baton away open. I don't know how many times I show that to someone in a class and they say to me I never knew this scabbard was designed so you can put your baton away in the open mode. Just to echo what Dara was saying about federal agencies or playing close guys, I've had the opportunity to train some federal agencies and these guys will admit to a man that they would not carry an expandable baton because it was too big, it was too bulky, it was too heavy. Coming out with the age of batons, having a low profile put it in your suit, put it in your pocket made it so much easier for them to have that force option with them.

Speaker 1:

When you talk about the equipment prices and everything, you guys you have a really good price point between the top of your line equipment and the bottom you're not gonna say bottom line, but the lower price modules. This also goes into. The next thing I really wanna talk about is handcuffs. The same handcuff philosophy has been around forever. The same type of locking mechanisms, the same double lock and everything, and anybody knows. It's very easy when you're a transport A to B and someone is very compliant hey, you know what? You could put those really nice steel handcuffs on me and double lock them with your handcuff key. But you know your one system. I was looking at the handcuffs. What were they? The ultra plus handcuffs where you could just push button to double lock. So for the civilian out there and the reason I'm saying for the civilian out there is because we're gonna really hammer down the civilian market for ASP here in a few minutes but when you're using handcuffs, when you don't latch it them down or you don't double secure them with a double locking system, it has the opportunity to keep cinching the subject that's wearing them and it could cause injury Really and it can cause really bad injuries. So what happens is. Asp came up with a double locking mechanism where you just pretty much push it down and it's good to go. When you're going to purchase items like this, you have to look at it kind of like hey, you know what it might be at my price point, but is it gonna be? Are you gonna be in this career for a very long time? And cost-benefit analysis is kind of up there. So I do wanna talk about the modernization of the ASP handcuffs and a lot of people don't even realize that ASP makes me handcuffs.

Speaker 2:

Jason, it's interesting you say that portion. We'll be doing demonstrations, right, and so we have a way that we do things at ASP train or train and sell or sell. And so our sales directors go out and they'll do trade shows, but they may tap our trainers on the shoulder, because trainers train and be like hey, Mike, can you come down here and do this show with me, Like Mike did the American Corrections Association a couple of weeks back in Philadelphia. Or, James, hey, I need you to come out here and meet with this major agency in the Northeast and help me demonstrate what goes on. My guys know the ins and outs of the cuffs. They can walk it through and tell you all about the cuff, but having an operator come through and tell you why that's great, is amazing, and that's one of the things that we really try to get into. The same cuff, the Swing Through Bow, what we look at as a traditional cuff that's been around since 1912. There were no modifications of that original cuff until 1985 when the Hins Cuff was born. Neither one of those were our inventions. Right, it's not the modern cuff nor the Hins Cuff was our invention. But in the early 2000s, right around the time, James came on as a trainer. We began our venture into handcuffs and we've had handcuffs for almost 20 years now and people like ask mixed cuffs. Yes, we do, we make the best ones in the world. We took things like having a geometrical shape, a conical shape of the geometry of the cuff, so that the cuff itself wraps the wrist as opposed to cutting into the wrist. Your average handcuffing lawsuit is like $35,000. That's an average handcuff lawsuit per year. So you can choose to pay now and buy a little bit of a cuff or you can choose to pay maybe later in a lawsuit. It's kind of how we look at this and we started that out and you had to have a key to unlock and you have to have a key to double lock and then we came out with this keyless double lock, the plus cuff that you're talking about, which is phenomenal I can take the cuffs out, I can put the cuffs on you and then, without having to remove my key, use my thumb into a slot and double lock the cuff. And that has kind of been a game changer for us how we manipulate our cuffs, when it comes to radius edges, when it comes to deep set, cutting lock teeth, all the cool innovations, no one else out there is innovating cuffs, right? Nobody is out there looking to say how can we modernize cuffs except ASP and we're lucky enough to be able to look in the field, have phenomenal guys come to us and tell us what they want key holes on both sides, and why is that important? We still hear the people go in a very archaic thought if the key holes aren't up, you can't cuff anybody. That's wrong, it's against the rules. We hear people say well, you gotta fight people in the cuffs, and none of those are old myths, right. Those are things that if you do the right training, you don't have to fight people into the handcuffs. You either fight or you cuff. We don't do both right, and so that's where we as a training cadre have really come across and really developed and how those trainings actually work with the new cuffing systems.

Speaker 4:

So James and I now are on the other side of the spectrum when we go out and actually teach hand cuffing right. And how do you make hand cuffing interesting? And I always find that to be a challenge because it's not your high speed running a gun and it's not your strikes, your takedowns, you're not using that baton and hitting. So we have to kind of set that tone. But with our cuffs it's easy for us because we have a couple of tricks. We have a training hand cuff that we can apply to live wrists. We do not have to utilize a key and we can just take them right off. So that does speed up some drills. Because what happens is you teach a traditional hand cuffing course, people start going through the motions right. They kind of start getting laxatives. You're only as fast as your you know slowest person. So what happens is you're someone's fumbling around with the key. Then you kind of lose the momentum of the class and people start smoking and joking and then before long it's like no one's taking hand cuffing serious. When hand cuffing is a big deal, that will set the tone of any arrest that you're going into the danger zone, you're putting hand, you're taking handcuffs and putting them on somebody. People don't like to be touched. So again we have those little tricks where with those training cuffs that speeds it up. Now we use the training batons so we can use those to simulate live wrists and we can use the handcuffs to put them on the training batons. You can slide them right off Now. That speeds up and that keeps all your students engaged. So the our training program kind of speaks for itself and people really get engaged and really enjoy it.

Speaker 3:

I think also with our handcuff program and when we run our courses, we make it principle based, not so much technique based. So we tell them it doesn't matter what handcuff you're using. It could be your trifold flexible, one time use only cuff, or it can go all the way up to your rigid cuff. All the principles will remain the same. And they really like that philosophy saying I don't have to worry about what cuff I pull out. I've already learned how to apply them. And it doesn't matter if it's chained or hinged, and it doesn't matter if the person is standing kneeling or prone on the ground. The principles don't change. And I think they really like adopting that philosophy when they take it back to their training units and their agencies.

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about training. That's a that's a huge thing for law enforcement and, like I, a man I think I've said this about 50 times on my my podcast you know, coming from the feds, if I want, if you want to go to training, it's like you know what put in the form. You know you got the budget. Someone has a budget. If we don't have the budget, we'll get someone other agency to sponsor you or whatever. The reality of policing and 99% of people that under I've known a police officer or deputy or anything know that there's no budget out there. There's no budget for training. It's tough to get training. It's tough to get solid training and training this dynamic and that's going to work. It's going to work towards your everyday survivability. So let's talk about what ASP is doing in the training realm and providing training support to the law enforcement agencies out there. I didn't realize that ASP has a ton of free training. I didn't know that, thought I was like hey, you know what, you want to buy some equipment, we'll train you on it. I didn't know there was like the whole different aspects hey, you want to sell something, you're going to sell it over here, but you have a whole training kind of right, what goes up to including getting people to become ASP certified instructors. So let's talk about that and feel free, you guys don't have to go on a water, you can just jump in.

Speaker 3:

You know it's funny. You were imagine I was thinking about that with training and budgets back what I was still on the job as a police officer. You're right. Asking for training was like the worst thing in the world and you have to find the person who controls the money to get the training and if they don't like what you're asking for, you'll never get the training. A lot of times the decision maker has no idea of the training that you're looking for or asking for. They might have an idea what they want, but it doesn't pertain to what you're trying to accomplish or your goal of what you're trying to train your officers on.

Speaker 4:

So, jason, you kind of open up a loaded question, right. I mean, I think you could probably spend the entire podcast just on this topic alone, and you kind of already alluded to it, right. I mean limited resources across the country with. You know, far as funding goes, equipment goes, and so we do provide free training. We give a lot of free equipment away. Another issue with training and I'm going to be a little biased with ASP, because again I feel like we are the best. We have some of the best trainers in the world. We have completely mastered our tradecraft. We take the time to work with our students. I mean, how many times have you taken a course and the instructors there, just to you know, get paid and get that check in the box right and move on. So that's not what we do. You're not guaranteed to pass our course, you have to earn it, and what I mean by that is is we're willing to work with you, but you're not just going to go through that class and make mistakes and move on. I can tell you, early on in my career I took a close quarters knife defense course and it was so complicated the techniques that the instructor was teaching us. There was no instructor student ratio. So one instructor is trying to teach multiple students and what happened was he's trying to teach a technique to us and he'd have to use one of the students as the bad guy and he's trying to tell us how to attack him right, and we'd have to go up there like, oh, I need you to do this. And it reminded me I was. If you ever watched that Saturday Night Live Jim Carrey skit, you know Jim Carrey's the. You know he's trying to teach self defense and he's trying to teach the knife defense and he's you're attacking me wrong, and that's all I can envision. Like it had to be a perfect scenario. So it was like a three day course and it was a long drive for me and I can tell you right now I got nothing out of that course. It was too, it was too complex, it wasn't practical to real life, it was nothing I could use and it was really wasting my time. So we really break down our system by the numbers. We go slow, make sure everybody understands it. And it's practical, it's real life. You can utilize our techniques in a real life situation and that's what sets us apart. I mean, we have the most passionate instructors around.

Speaker 2:

You know, mike, you talk about using them in real life situations. I remember training a guy. We were right outside of San Antonio shirts, texas, and we did a class and we tell people you could use what we're teaching you tonight. Right, because they some of these guys go and work shifts. Some of these guys are working and training during the day, right, and they're working at night. And I had a guy come back in on day three. He goes you can go, believe this, sir, I'm like what happened and he goes. You talked about here for two days at 2.30 in the morning and you and the bad guy behind apartment complex and you're going to hear me in your head and he goes that my radio wouldn't transmit. I was in a bad low spot. I couldn't get my radio out. It was me and the bad guy and I utilize the technique that we did here. Right, I utilize what we were doing and it saved my hide. I'll clean that up. That's not exactly what he said. Right, it saved my hide out there in the field and you're not joking Now as a testimony in class. That's a big deal, right, everybody from the class got to hear this. But see, this is our passion as a company, right, and when I talk about our company being a training company first and foremost, this is what I'm talking about. Training budgets are the first thing that gets cut. I can't stand that. As a law enforcement, right, I worked at the training cabinet. I took every advantage of every training class I could ever take, because the rookie is the only way I could get weekends off, right, it's to go to training and get the extra days off, and so you had to do it. And then there's this passion, and that's what we do as a company. Our mission is to protect those who protect. We give millions of dollars back every year in tuition, free training, right. If you come to ASP, you go to our website, asp-usacom. There's a training tab, there's an AIC schedule tab. That's on there. You click, we list all our classes. All you gotta do is pay a deposit to come to the class and when you show up you get your deposit back. The training is free. Three days baton cuff and light. Three days, it's free, and you get about $350 with a free gear, right, you leave there with some restraints and a case. You leave with some duty lights, some secondary. You leave there with kit, whether you pass or fail because, as Mike talked about, we got about a 3% to 5% failure rate in our instructor courses. We've had at trainer conferences. We've got to come back once every two years as a trainer. Some guys show up every year, some guys show up every two years. We have had trainer conferences with candidates that every single candidate failed. We've never had a class where every candidate passed. I mean, we had 28 people in my class and 12 out of the 28 people failed when I came through in 2008. That's a big deal, right, when you're at the very end and they're gonna be like all right, you're gonna come into here and you're gonna get a thumbs up or thumbs down and there's only 16 coins and your coin is what you get when you pass. There's only 16 coins. And you're looking around and you're like, uh-oh, did I make the cut right? And then the first guy goes in and the first guy goes carrying his bags down the hall and you're like I thought I did better than that guy. Or then the next guy goes in. You're like that guy was a stud. There's no way that I passed now, right, I mean, it's this crazy thing that happens, but it's because we owe it right. These line officers the twos that we call them right they're the guys who gotta work extra jobs. They gotta go to court every day. They're working their shift. They don't have time to go or they don't take the time. How about that? You can make the time, right. They don't take the time to be able to go out and train some kind of survival fighting on their own. They're not working out like they should, right, but we're gonna give them what we can to make sure they come back alive every night. And that's the beauty of the passion that we have With a tuition-free training. There's no excuse that someone can't say that I can't get into an ass class. An agency can't say, well, I can't afford the manpower. Can you afford not to give the manpower in million-dollar lawsuits of use of force issues. So that's kind of can't tell. I get passionate about this. I'm gonna come to the training. That's where we come from and our heart is as a company.

Speaker 3:

We have when we do our training courses, kind of echoing what Mike and Darrell both talking about In our manual. Right in the very beginning of page two in the little notes section, it says I hear, I forget, I see, I learn, I do, I remember. And I feel I believe we try to get them to that last part. They have to believe in their training, that it take, like Mike said, he did that three-day course and he left confused because it was too complicated, it didn't make sense. I like to explain to guys when they come to the course, especially in the beginning, you might get some pushback from some of the people taking the course saying oh I already know how to do this. This is very basic. I don't need to learn how to swing a baton or put handcuffs on. I say well, you're not realizing the difference between the end user, the officer, the instructor, the trainer is. It doesn't matter what level you're at. Your goal should be to master the basics. That's the only difference. There's no secret technique, there's no special swing. It's practicing over and over and over again. So if you ever need to do that technique, it's not going to fail you and once they understand that concept or that philosophy, they really buy into it.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad you said that about the basic techniques. Well, first I wanna say time is money. Time is definitely money when it comes to LEOs and stuff like that. They need to be able to define a time. They need to be able to get the shift. You know, one of the reasons I started the foundation is I found out that so many officers are making like 13, 14, 15, $18 an hour. And if you said, hey, we're gonna send you to an ASAP training but it's gonna cost our budget $2,000 with everything they're gonna be like, well, let me go to some other, something that's actually gonna, something I really need, like one day jiu-jitsu, knife fighting, parachuting course. Now it's really, when it comes to the training and the training budgets, you have to find something that's gonna work. You brought up basics. When you're gonna become an instructor, absolutely you need to know the basics because you are going to be instructing this to everybody else In the military. You know, I came from an infantry background. I was just regular grunt infantry. The difference between grunt infantry to Rangers, to Special Forces, the tier one, is the basics. But keep doing the basics over until you are an absolute expert. Same thing with the tools that you have? You have the handcuffs. Hey, listen, we all know handcuffs. Basic, same premise you're gonna restrain someone, but you need to learn how to restrain them With a baton. Yeah, you have to learn how to manipulate the baton. Everything you need to do, you need to know the basics.

Speaker 2:

So, absolutely, Bruce Lee said you know, you need to learn the technique until you forget it. Right. And you've been that famous quote out there that professionals learn it till they can't get it wrong. Right, you don't need to learn it until you get it right. You need to learn it until you can't get it wrong. And if you're that instructor, you need to know the why behind the how so you can't get it wrong. You owe that to your officers, to anyone who is gonna be your audience, that you are so perfecting your technique and that you're constantly on that road to perfect it that they can't get it wrong.

Speaker 4:

So I think, what makes us unique too. We're gonna teach you how to utilize and use the baton. We're gonna show you how to handcuff properly and we got a flashlight portion right. We're gonna show you how we do all the drills. But, more importantly also, when we're teaching at AIC, we're teaching instructors. We're gonna teach you how to teach this stuff. It's gotta make sense. You gotta pass this knowledge onto your students, deputies, agencies, officers and we have to make sure that we're teaching on the proper techniques right. If you teach somebody and you let them get through, like I said, one of the drills, not doing it properly, and you're just gonna check that box saying, hey, you're good to go, what's gonna happen when they go back to their agency and they're teaching their students? They're gonna teach them the wrong technique and that's gonna be a snowball effect. So I'm teaching recruits at my agency. I always ask the question. I said does practice make perfect? Everybody says yeah, practice makes perfect. I said, no, it doesn't. And they look at me like what are you talking about? I said perfect, practice makes perfect. That's if you're doing something wrong and you're practicing, you're doing it wrong. You have to perfect your craft, so to speak. Once you've got that, then you practice it. So we really dial in those skills and take our time with our students and make sure that they are doing things properly.

Speaker 1:

Well, the cool thing about the training too. It's very hard to find on your website and I'm being facetious here. If you just go to the training tab, you can click over, you can see where the courses are listed, and it's right. There's no hidden. I hate when I'm trying to find something, I'm like looking around, but seriously, you got a ton of different courses here and it's all throughout the year. You click on it, you sign up for it, so that is yeah, go ahead, we make this.

Speaker 2:

And I'm gonna, man, I wish Will was on here, my brother. Will we make this marine proof, right? I mean that the guys from the Corps can go on here and go, I can do this, right. And we make a deep nights cop proof, right? You know those deep nights guys. I always say, to get a new piece of equipment, give it to a deep nights guy. In fact, after 30 days it isn't lost, broken or eaten. Then you got a good piece of equipment. Right, we make this, so the deep nights guy can get on here and go. Man, I'm half awake, half asleep, it's 2.30 in the morning, nothing's going on. I can register for a class, right, that is so simple that you can figure this out, because we understand that, man, as a police officer, you got so much going on in your life, right. You have your home life, you got court life, you got extra job life, man, and if you're not taking care of you, those lives, man, they don't go and mesh well together.

Speaker 1:

I love it and that's the big thing is like it's not just being law enforcement training. Now you're moving into the civilian market and it's one thing I want to talk about is be your own defender training program. Listen, we love law, I love law enforcement, I love supporting law enforcement. I've been in law enforcement, but there is a complete market out there, a complete section of society, the protectors. Everybody is their own protector nowadays. Police aren't always going to be there and we're talking backup's not always going to be there. We're talking anything you call. You have to be your own protector. So let's talk about this be your own defender. I mean, you guys call it defender. I would probably say you know BYOP, like you know, be your own protector, but a little bias, so let's talk about that.

Speaker 2:

Jason, I can tell you exactly how that came up. We were sitting in Knoxville, tennessee, and James we were talking about being your own active participant in your own rescue right and James was like, yeah, you got to be your own defender and we had the defenders and we're like dude, that's the name of the program right now. That's. I mean, it was awesome and we came up with that. The defender is the name of the individual pepper spray tool that we had, so it incorporates the name of the device as well as the philosophy behind what we're doing. So that was the crux of the name of the thing. It actually started a year before that. That was July of 2021. It started a year before that when one of our other guys, jim Klauba, was working out with our CEO, dr Kevin Parsons. They were working out in his kitchen. Jim were ever in the house and they were throwing knee strikes and somehow in the conversation was like man, you know, we should really do something on the pepper spray side with our defenders. I think it's a great idea, but that's civilian and well, why can't we do civilian right? So that curiosity led to a three year journey, very passionate discussions. We are very good at passionate discussions. When we agree, it's awesome, but when we disagree, it's even better. Right, and there's a lot of passion that comes with that. There's some times where we have to get the bourbon and the Irish whiskey out and hug it out or punch it out, or I'm an andrithal, right and so we have to do some of this, and so my son, will Hanser, james Schramm and Jim Klauba myself. We really worked together to make this and it was a full circle. Some things that are in the program now we're definitely not there. In the beginning, some things that were there got removed, massaged, brought back in and all of a sudden now they're here in a different facet that goes on there. And so watching this man, it was you're talking about not wanting to see how sausage is made, but eating it when it's cooked. I mean, that is definitely how this is, and we still try to adhere to ASP's philosophy of tuition-free training and I'll turn it over to James because he was one of the crux guys in making the program. But the only money that ASP as a whole takes out of the actual course is for the kit. We have a be your own defender kit, and this kit is the same if you're an end user or an instructor or a trainer, and that's it. That's all that, and all we do is this actually, the cost of this is all that ASP takes is the cost of what's in this box that we take back. Everything else goes to an individual, such as whatever instructor, civilian instructor or trainer that is doing and teaching. It goes and covers their costs to be there. So ASP as a whole is still trying to do what we can to give back because we believe that it is an honorable piece. We take so much, but we believe that we should still be giving back to society in every chance that we get. So that's kind of what we've done and how, and I'll kind of flip it over to James.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's exciting. It's been exciting for these last few years working on the program. And Dow's definitely right, there's a lot of button heads and I wish we could have recorded all those sessions. I wish we could have had a camera in all those sessions. But to come full circle and to see the program where it is now and it is really new it's only been out there for a few months where people are actually going through these programs, it's exciting to be on the civilian side of things because all we've ever done has been on the law enforcement side of things and getting feedback from civilians saying I never knew that the pepper spray that I carried would be used this way. I never knew that if it's in my purse, backpack, pocketbook, that it's useless to me there because I'll never get to it if I need it. Going through the program, understanding that we're taking the principles that we use in our law enforcement side of training and applying that to civilians, giving them that opportunity to do something that's not so watered down or bogged down by techniques and keeping it once again basic and simple and making them understand hey, you need to be your own defender, slash protector, and how are you going to do that Well, you have to follow these principles, and if you follow these principles you have a better chance of doing that.

Speaker 1:

I love this aspect of it, but you're giving them the tools as well. There's tools out there for people now when it comes to your OC sprays, your batons, flashlights. Asp has a whole full line of non-lethal tools out there. Yes, you could use batons to be lethal, but overall the practicality of it is they're non-lethal tools.

Speaker 2:

Jason, I mean we know you've read the books on killing and on combat. I mean we know that humans are not geared to take another human's life. We know that the average how about we say that the average human is not built, that that is the desire that goes out there and is done Even. I mean, in the Civil War they found soldiers with multiple balls into the rifles and never pulling a trigger once In World War I guys would aim, but never, ever fire cartridges at the enemy. And so we know as a human race, as a species, we don't want to go out there and attack and kill one another. And now, yes, there are predators that we must be able to protect ourselves. There's true evil in the world, but for those that need to understand that that evil has to be combated and how that we do, that is by understanding these philosophies right. It is by understanding how I need to protect myself and having a less lethal opportunity to do that. I mean that is huge and that actually fits into some of how people are built and designed and can take that and really stomach that.

Speaker 3:

You know it's funny if you go backwards in time. 15, 20 years ago, if someone was on the subway and they were getting attacked, if someone was on the street and they were getting harassed, someone would probably step in and help them. Nowadays, all we ever get is someone takes out their cell phone and starts filming it and we really try to drive this home. People will definitely understand that that hey, I'm on my own. Even if there may be a few people around there, I can't count on them to come in and help me. So I have to do something to learn how to protect myself, to give me the tools or the opportunity to avoid danger when possible, so I don't even put myself in those situations ahead of time.

Speaker 2:

And that's the beauty of how this course is kind of designed. The classroom portion talks about that situational awareness, right, that, paying attention, getting away as Pat Magnum are talking about the 45 degree syndrome, looking down at your phone and having your head down and not paying attention to what's going on around you. You know, reacting to your environment that's something that everyone should be doing and paying attention to what's going on. And then, once you're reacting to your environment, like going I probably shouldn't walk out there to my car in an empty parking lot with, you know, a 1978 beater car sitting next to it with the engine running and I can't see anybody, right, that's probably what we would call a clue. We shouldn't do that. But today people just like do grab their phone and walk on the right and put themselves in a bad situation. So you know, swimming with a buddy, making sure there's a battle buddy system out there. You know, making sure that I'm telling someone hey, I'm going to go from point A to point B and it's probably going to be about 15 minutes for me to get there. Please check in with me, I'll check in with you. Small little things like that, right, things that people are like, well, that makes a lot of sense. Why didn't I think of that Exactly? Why didn't you think of that? Right, these are not huge pieces but combined we can try to protect, take care of, defend somebody out there in a street, and then you get into the class or the gym quote unquote gym portion, right, the drilling portion, and that gets you actually into the all. Right now I'm into a situational fidelity, right when I have someone that I'm behind the ball, I didn't pay attention and now I have to do something. Now I have to be able to create distance. Now I have to protect myself. I have to defend my position and it's awesome to see and even you know, I have daughters. To teach them what we're doing and watch them run with that and learn is great.

Speaker 1:

I Really want to get into the next aspect and probably our last. The talking piece today was the new red guns man, you know, the red guns back in the day were like you know, hey, you know it's a red gun, it kind of simulates that what a Glock is or whatever. But you guys were really nice to donate to my foundation and donate Six red guns with their removal magazines, like with actual mag releases and everything. So what I do is I found a small department in South Carolina and Really hurting for training equipment, and they had two officers that were going to be going to training this week and they needed some red guns. So I reached out to ask and asked was like hey, you know what, we're gonna hook you up. Here's the deal, we're gonna help you out. You know, obviously you guys are in business, but you were helping out the nonprofit, but At no cost. You know, at no cost you. You provided these, this training equipment, but it wasn't just red guns, it's these red guns. If everybody goes to their website and checks out the new, was it the shadow systems, as I would have called? The shadow system, too, comes with two mags. And for me, you know, seeing as I'm quasi retired now. I like it because you know, if I bought one for myself I could also train in magazine exchanges and and train and in magazine manipulation. So there's a lot more to a red gun now than just a standard block of plastic.

Speaker 2:

So, man, I even have another phase that I want to get into. This is what I look at his phase to. I'm. I have several different five-year, ten-year training things that I would like to do that we really can't talk about because, you know, I haven't even got permission from the boss yet. I'm really good at getting slapped down About this. I come up with some crazy ideas and then we got to let the real guys get in on here and mess with it. But it was our pleasure, first of all, to be able to support you and your team and make this happen. Secondly, let's take a terrible tragedy that just got brought back up in the news from Washington DC at the training where it was an ask baton instructor training or an end user training, from an ask baton instructor who did not adhere to safety rules and had a live firearm and and and because of that, and then still didn't adhere to firearm safety rules. And when it's a training firearm or a live firearm, that the firearm safety rules still apply no matter what and and did not adhere to those and a life was lost because of those actions. That that particular incident is the reason that our red guns are here. It's the reason we do our weapons systems and training platforms like we do. There have been several stories of like rookies taking home their firearms and watching TV and practicing dry fires and magazine changes. And when is the most dangerous time in training that you could have a Negligent or incidental or whatever? The new word is that you need to call it right. You're popping off around when is the most dangerous time for that to occur, and that's at the very end of your training cycle. And why does that take place? Well, because you're like, oh hey, well, wait a minute, let me do one more thing. And you forgot that. You loaded it back up with live ammunition and you fire off around and shoot it through the TV, through the wall, at a loved one or whatever. Takes place right and bad stuff happens. So we want to say, hey, we're, there's training pieces out there and fidelity of training, right, adhering to the realistic training that we can do, which is how. The second evolution of what we call our enhanced training weapons, the Magazines that are removable. We have shadow systems magazines that are removable. If you're not familiar shadow systems firearms, they are phenomenal. Go get one, shoot one. They are pretty awesome pieces of weapons and they fit the Glock style holsters that are out there as many agencies that are starting to switch over as well to this, and so we have that system. We have your M 17, m 18, like your sick 320s that are out there as well. For that a Beretta 92 is the old M 9s from the military, and then we have in for platforms. You can do long guns and train on magazine releases for long guns as well.

Speaker 1:

Because I was just looking at that. Right now I'm looking at your website. Yeah, well, like no, it's not the shadow systems, you make them for the different systems. So yeah, you even have the HK 416 on there and everything.

Speaker 2:

I'm like you another implant. We actually had a special design that we did for the French Army for the HK 416s, and we delivered 8009000 long guns for them, 20000 fire or hand guns for them. That are magazine, really enhanced guns. We're very lucky and you'd be like well, why are they red? Everything else is blue. Right in the army it's blue or it's this. But well, the reason we do red is because If I'm down range and I'm looking back at my training line and I see red pointed at me, we're golden, but I may not be able to distinguish a darker color from the real firearm. And if you're a firearms instructor and you're practicing this and you're down range and you look back and there's a pucker factor that goes on at that point in time, because these are recruit a heck, these are sometimes Tenured officers who are doing stupid things with firearms. You know, my daughter's know that, no matter what color it is, you ask is that a real firearm? And then you adhere to the firearm safety rules. Right Finger off the trigger point is safe direction. We work on clearing stuff in the house. We're, we're a combatives household, right, people like you are a nut. No, I'm raising little warriors as a, as a family that can take care of themselves when I'm not around.

Speaker 1:

Well, gentlemen, I do appreciate this conversation today. Everybody, if you really do want to learn how to become a If you're an LAO, I should say, are in that community. If you want to become an ass instructor, really check out their website, ask dash USA comm, and then they also have all your line of gear on there. I do want to say I do have the at the pen light. It's like a pen light. You don't always have the opportunity to carry a big old flashlight with you or flashlight anywhere in our days. Always have some sort of illumination to align you. Seriously, you never know when you're gonna be in the dark. But feel free to go around if you guys have anything else for us.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I was gonna say two is one, one is none. Right in a daytime having a flashlight. I don't think any one of us three leave the house without having some sort of lighting system, because even in the daylight, where our lights and how they're designed, man, you can grab someone's attention by shining in their eyes, you know you can gain yourself space, you can gain yourself an element to leave right the best fights, the one that you're not present for. And we're lucky I'm lucky as a company, as a person working for a company, to have this company that I would get to work for, work with these gents here. I get to learn so much from them. They're constantly kicking my butt and challenging me and making me learn and strive more. And I mean, if I got to say one thing for these guys that are out there is make sure that you're present when you're home, be present in your job, be present for your workouts, be present when you're doing something right, don't Just make, be intentional in your presence and especially, be present at home.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, jason, just wanted to say thanks for having us on as true honor and just practice what you preach and keep training hard.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thank you very much. It was a lot of fun. It was great to be on here to talk about all these talk topics. I really appreciate it.

Evolution of Training Equipment
Innovations in Handcuff Training and Design
Be Your Own Defender Training Program
Enhanced Training Weapons and Equipment
Importance of Being Present and Prepared