MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The City of Miami Police Department is adding a new weapon in its arsenal of tools to help keep the community safe and this gadget isn't really a weapon at all, but a non-lethal apprehension tool that can restrain people from a safe distance.
It's called the BolaWrap, and Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo introduced the tool at a news conference on Thursday.
"This is another option that can help us bring the person to custody. And quite frankly, it's not even a use of force. It's not, it's not a less lethal weapon because it's not a weapon. It's really an apprehension tool that helps us subdue someone without using force and without injury," explained Chief Acevedo.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez thanked the chief "for thinking outside of the box and finding different ways to be effective as a police force without creating life and death situations." He added "We want to be effective. We want to be able to apprehend people, we want to bring people to justice, but we want to do it in the most humane manner possible."
Mayor Suarez then helped demonstrate the BolaWrap as he played the "suspect."
The handheld remote device discharged an 8-foot bola style tether which wrapped around his legs. According to the vendor Wrap Technologies' website, the tether is made of Kevlar and discharges at 513 feet per second at a range of 10 to 25 feet.
WATCH Mayor Suarez demonstrate the BolaWrap
The device comes with a safety, a laser for aiming and an activation button that launches the tether.
"There's never been more pressure than during the last 12 months on law enforcement to change and we're using technology to solve these very difficult problems and provide a way to not have to use pain compliance or a taser baton or pepper spray, ultimately a firearm, to take somebody in crisis into custody quickly and get them the help that they need," said Wrap Technologies CEO Tom Smith. "This has been used in over 500 agencies and in 44 countries around the world because it's a problem law enforcement faces worldwide, not just here in the United States."
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