Wrap Technologies recently demonstrated a device that they have developed to local central Ohio police departments at the Reynoldsburg police headquarters. The BolaWrap appears to be a stun gun with a laser sight on it and sounds like a gun when it is fired, but when it discharges, it is something out of a comic book.
The BolaWrap is a Kevlar tether that grips like a fishhook on each end. The 8-foot-long line wraps around the arms and legs of the target in question, making it harder for the target to continue running from law enforcement. The recommended distance for deployment is between 10 and 18 feet.
Although it looks as if it came right from a superhero cartoon, the BolaWrap was created to be used in situations where the person fleeing the police is unarmed. Chief David Plesich, of the Reynoldsburg police department, says that his department is seriously considering the investment of $900 per BolaWrap because his officers are seeing cases where they are dealing with people who are in a mental health crisis.
He went on to say that it is important for him and his officers to be using less-lethal tactics when handling people when they are dealing with a mental health problem. The only tactics they have currently for situations that are not considered lethal are a taser or pepper spray, both of which could be considered excessive depending on the situation.
The chief operating officer of Wrap Technologies is Mike Rothans. Rothans is a retired LA County deputy sheriff. He states that the BolaWrap technology is small enough to fit on an officer’s belt but is strong enough to take down a subject without lethal force. The Kevlar tether is expelled by a partially charged .38-caliber blank cartridge and deploys at a speed of around 515 feet per second. The goal is to be able to use the BolaWrap with those who are passively resistant and not wielding a weapon.