NYPD's secret weapon in standoffs - a simple length of rope

It's a simple technology that's helping New York City police officers take control when people lock themselves in their homes and threaten harm.

The department is training officers to tie a 5½-foot (1½-meter) rope to the door handle and pull tight to prevent it from being opened. That makes it virtually impossible for the person inside to burst through the door and cause harm.

The rope came in handy last month when officers responded to a call of a "person in distress" holed up in a Brooklyn apartment.

The technique has been a mainstay of the NYPD's emergency services unit for decades.

But the department started training all 35,000 officers in the technique at the beginning of the year after revamping how it interacts with people exhibiting distress.

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