LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — The Los Angeles Police Department will begin testing a device designed to snare a person from a distance, giving officers an alternative to firing a Taser or a gun.
The device is known as the BolaWrap 100, which fires a Kevlar cord that wraps around a person’s torso and legs from up to 25 feet away.
Manufactured by Las Vegas-based Wrap Technologies, the handheld device emits a gunshot-type noise when it deploys the tether, which has barbs attached that can create a “very small puncture” when the tether wraps around a person, according to Wrap COO and retired assistant L.A. County sheriff Mike Rothans.
“This is a restraint device,” Rothans told the Los Angeles Times. “This is meant to put time and distance between the officer.”
Two frequent LAPD critics who attend Police Commission meetings criticized the tool, including Black Lives Matter member Adam Smith, who argued the department would probably deploy the tool mostly in minority communities, The Times reported.
Deputies with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office are among those who have recently adopted the technology, which many on social media have likened to a tether-type tool found on comic book hero Batman’s fictional utility belt.
The device will be distributed to 200 LAPD officers once they are trained starting in January.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)