EDENTON, N.C. (WTKR/CBS Newspath) – The Edenton Police Department has become the first in North Carolina to carry a new device designed to de-escalate confrontations.
The BolaWrap is the same size as a calculator, but according to its creators, it can help police gain control in dangerous situations.
Inside the BolaWrap is an eight-foot kevlar tether with hooks on either side. When the device is deployed, the tether shoots out and wraps itself around a target.
If deployed correctly, it can de-escalate a situation between police and a dangerous offender, the company says.
“This gives us an extra tool to take someone into custody without using a high level of force,” said Edenton Police Chief Henry King
During a demonstration at The College of the Albemarle on Friday morning, representatives from Wrap Technologies Inc. showed police officers from all over the state how the device can be used.
Through videos, they walked officers through situations where the BolaWrap could have been used instead of deadly force. They say the device can be helpful when dealing with someone who has a mental illness.
Instead of Tasing or shooting a person who is not listening to officers, the device is able to stop someone from advancing towards police, giving them valuable seconds to react.
“It gives you a chance to get control of someone — it’s like taking handcuffs and throwing them at someone and wrapping them up,” said BolaWrap strategist Donald DeLucca, who is a retired police chief.
After learning about the device, officers were allowed to test it on a mannequin and on themselves.
“It is an opportunity for us to have something in our tool belt,” said King, who hosted the presentation. “When you’re going to fix a house, you want to have more than just a hammer. This gives us an extra tool to take someone into custody without using a different, higher level of force.”
Once the Edenton officers go through training, the BolaWraps will be in the hands of officers and on the street.
While Edenton officers will be ready to use the device when necessary, King hopes they won’t have to use them at all.
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