We sat down with Joseph Crisp, founder and CEO of one of the Nation’s Top Prisoner Transport Companies. His company, Huntsman Transport, prides itself on military excellence (hiring only Veterans) and operating with their signature “No Fail” policy.
Please enjoy the un-edited interview from a true national hero below.
Mr. Crisp, could you share with us what motivated you to start Huntsman Transport after serving in the military?
One of the main struggles I had after getting out of the military was finding a sense of purpose like the one I had while serving. I knew from the beginning I could not be an average worker, so I purchased a kickboxing gym; but 6 days later COVID shut it down. During those months of closure I got involved in Fugitive Recovery and re located a passion and sense of purpose that I thought I would never have again. I saw the need for professionalism in the industry and knew I could build something from it. While doing Fugitive Recovery, I was able to help some veterans that were struggling to find themselves, but wasn’t able to provide a full-time job. I wasn’t able to help the Marines I served with who were struggling and because of this, I watched as they died off one by one. So, I began looking into other business avenues and one that caught my eye was US Extradition. With this industry, I saw that I can take the military standard instilled into veterans and transfer it to extradition. So what motivated me? My fellow veterans who are struggling everyday like I did to find a brotherhood, purpose and have a mission once again. That’s what Huntsman Transport can provide.
In what ways has your service in the armed forces shaped the vision and operational tactics of Huntsman Transport?
It has completely shaped the company. For over a decade the military has drilled into me discipline, standard and the tenacity to get the job done to 110% and to never half ass. So by taking these things that have successfully run operations for wars all over the world, we have created a company of the highest caliber.
How do you translate military principles such as discipline, hierarchy, and mission focus into the day-to-day running of a prisoner transport company?
By teaching our agents about the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment; reminding them of their responsibilities in and out of uniform. Agents with Huntsman Transport live by a set of enduring core values that form the bedrock of character. These values guide our actions and bolster our resolve. These values lead us to victory over the physical, mental and moral battles faced while serving in our communities and as an Extradition Agent. These are the values that ensure every decision made now or in the future supports our common moral cause. Everyone should remember that values are defined by the way they are lived.
Huntsman Transport emphasizes its ‘zero fail policy.’ Could you elaborate on what this policy entails and how you maintain such high standards?
Zero fail policy in Huntsman Transport means putting 110% into everything we do. We have a saying here from Marine General Mattis, “Be polite, be professional but always have a plan to kill everyone you meet” What this means to us is, we will be polite, we will be professional; but we will be ready for any challenge that comes our way. That’s how we maintain the standard.
What are the unique challenges you face in the prisoner extradition industry, and how does Huntsman Transport address these challenges differently from your competitors?
Complacency is the biggest challenge. Transporting can seem like a mundane task, but in reality the only thing keeping your inmate from escaping is the agent. How do we address this? By conducting high intensity training that sets us apart from everyone else. By doing these extensive training operations, we keep our agents motivated and reminded of the potential dangers that come with the job.
Hiring veterans is a commendable practice. What specific qualities do veterans bring to your team, and how does this benefit your clients?
An easy day in the military is a hard day in the civilian world. Veterans have been trained to stay focused during the most stressful of situations. In fact, we thrive in those situations. Veterans know how to spot dangers from a mile away and these skill sets are crucial to the Extradition industry. All i know is, if I was paying someone to transport a dangerous individual across state lines. I would feel more confident if people with combat experience who were feared oversees were transporting and not individuals whose combat experience consists of all three Call of Dutys.
Can you walk us through the process of a typical prisoner transport operation and the measures you take to ensure safety and compliance?
All Huntsman vehicles are equipped with high tech cameras that helps us ensure the safety of our agents and prisoners. We conduct route planning and scheduled stops to make sure our prisoner is secured and out of the public eye as much as possible. By having our own dispatch, we can do hourly check ins and head counts.
As a leader, how do you ensure that the values of Huntsman Transport are upheld by every member of your team?
Developing people to their highest potential is a basic leadership responsibility and we achieve this by mentoring our Huntsmans which involves a two-way communication between seniors and juniors. This allows our leaders to help our agents achieve and maintain the highest possible level of performance. As a leader it is your responsibility to inspire them to the highest standards possible. You must strive to be patient, understanding, just and firm; commend the deserving and encourage the wayward and NEVER forget that they are a reflection of your leadership. We drill this into every Huntsman, helping them become the best version of themselves.
You operate a sophisticated fleet for transportation. Could you tell us about the technologies and innovations Huntsman Transport has adopted?
We utilize state of the art tracking and camera systems in all our vehicles. Being partnered with a tech genius who is developing an app that allows DOCs to track their prisoners’ transport; kind of like dominos for prisoners puts us ahead of everyone else. We are constantly thinking of new ways to improve our service to our clients.
Mental health is a significant concern among veterans. Does Huntsman Transport have any initiatives or support systems in place for its employees in this regard?
Every veteran out there has come back from their own war. We here at Huntsman Transport strive to provide a safe haven where veterans can come and regain a sense of purpose and the pride that comes with wearing a uniform and being a part of a team. Being able to work beside others that have gone or are going through the same struggles makes such a huge difference. We are in the process of teaming up with different organizations to provide support for those who protected our freedom.
How do you view the role of Huntsman Transport in the broader context of the criminal justice system?
The pandemic that is known as under-staffed makes it hard for various counties and states to pick up offenders for a variety of reasons including missing court or probation violation. Huntsman Transport provides a service that allows our clients to focus on the priorities at their facilities, while we provide peace of mind by making sure those offenders are held accountable for their actions.
In the evolving landscape of law enforcement and corrections, how does Huntsman Transport stay ahead of the curve in terms of training and technology?
Like the military, we take our training very seriously. We train on everything from defensive driving to special operation tactics. With having a tech millionaire genius partnered with us, we are constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that our clients only pay for the best.
What is the most rewarding aspect of running Huntsman Transport, and what has been your greatest challenge?
Greatest challenge had to be building a business from the ground up with nothing but a dream while the country was going through one of its worst economic states. This however only made the goal more important; and that was helping fellow veterans find a way back. My close friend and fellow Marine to whom I served with was there for me during some of my darkest days, but he struggled like me everyday to find a purpose, a reason to keep going. Then one day he lost his job and due to the economic state of the country he couldn’t find another and he succumbed to his battle and took his own life. If Huntsman would have just been fully operational a few months sooner, he could have still been with us today. I may have lost my dear friend, but I swore to myself that I won’t lose another for that reason. So what is the most rewarding aspect? Its seeing the company be successful and being able to truly help my fellow veterans and God willing, start making a difference in the fight against veteran suicide.
Looking to the future, how do you see Huntsman Transport expanding or evolving? Are there any new markets or services you’re aiming to explore?
Our goal here at Huntsman Transport is to change the face of the prisoner transport industry and set the standard for others to emulate by spreading our services from the east to the west coast as well as U.S. territories with our private aircraft fleet. We are preparing a special task force of our top Huntsmans who have served overseas in Special Operations that can provide out of country transports and protection. We also want to help our communities by training weapon safety and self defense.
Finally, what advice would you give to other veterans who aspire to start their own businesses after their military service?
I would have to say, you are more than just a veteran. Too many times I hear veterans say they were just motor transport, just infantry or supply. No! You were given life changing skill sets! You learned discipline, leadership skills and you learned to adapt and overcome any challenge that comes your way. Now take those skill sets and go make something of yourself and put 110% into your goal. If anyone tells you there’s no such thing as 110%, then you tell them that’s why they will never be great.