TROUP COUNTY, Ga. - Police have a new crime-fighting tool that they say could help in dangerous situations.
Channel 2's Linda Stouffer learned what officers testing the device say is the biggest benefit: safety.
The BolaWrap is about the size of a flashlight, and it has a laser and a high-speed surprise. An extra-strong line shoots out and catches around a suspect’s ankle.
“It comes out at 900 feet per second, and as you can see it entangles him right before the knee,” said LaGrange police Lt. Eric S. Lohr.
It works so fast that Channel 2 Action News slowed down video so you can see the line wrap around the mannequin's legs.
LaGrange police are testing the new tool to use at close range.
Instead of potentially serious outcomes by pulling out a Taser, or even a gun, with a suspect who is armed with a knife or just out of control, officers can use an alternative route.
“This is a way we can get them into custody safely with little to minimum no pain to them and minimal risk to the officer,” Lohr said.
The company's demonstration shows the BolaWrap lines making people slow down or stumble. It’s effective from 10 to 25 feet.
“You point the device in the direction that you want to entangle,” said LaGrange police Lt. Dale Strickland.
Strickland said they're training officers first, and then will decide how to put the BolaWrap in action.
“I could shoot down here and get the feet,” Strickland said.
And even that sound could be just the assist they need to stop a threat.
“The loud 'bang' that you hear also works as a distraction that allows us to close in and hopefully safely take the person into custody,” Strickland said.
LaGrange is one of only 10 departments in the nation testing the BolaWrap.
They hope to start getting feedback from officers soon.
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