Police officers in Illinois are testing a new restraint weapon designed for situations where deadly force is not warranted.
In the gun range at the Buffalo Grove Police Department, officers from several suburban police departments were testing the new technology, known as the “BolaWrap.”
Wrap Technologies was showing its hand-held remote restraint device that fires an 8-foot Kevlar tether at a range of up to 25 feet.
The Las Vegas-based company says it’s designed to restrain people who are unruly or uncooperative without having to resort to deadly force. The new weapon could be used if a person is threatening to harm themselves or is suffering from a mental illness.
Advocates have for the last several years called on police departments nationwide to rethink their use of force policies amid the killings of black people during interactions with law enforcement officers.
“I think it's just another tool in the toolbox for officers when they're confronting perhaps a mentally ill person or a subject who wants to commit suicide. This might be a tool to help the officer control the subject,” Steve Casstevens, Buffalo Grove Police Chief, told Fox 32.
The station reports that the “BolaWrap” costs $800 dollars and each tether cartridge is $30 bucks. It's just gone into production and is being used by a few law enforcement agencies in California.
“First impressions are good,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.
Ziman explained that her only concerns about the technology are the danger of the tether wrapping around the target’s neck.
“But there are some times where we are dealing with subjects who are going to resist arrest, and so we have to move into that force continuum. And this is an appropriate tool,” Ziman said.