(CBS4) – More than a dozen different Colorado law enforement agencies have purchased a device meant to detain, not harm suspects. BolaWrap is a non-lethal apprehension tool that can restrain people from a safe distance.
It’s designed to not look like a gun, It fires off a kevlar cord which then wraps itself around the subject’s arms, legs or both. It’s classified as a “less lethal” device.
While it sounds like a gunshot when it fires, it’s actually just a blank charge meant to stun. Sometimes the suspects think they’ve been shot.
“This device is really designed to eliminate where pain might be required to detain somebody or take them into custody safely,” said Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras.
Glenwood Springs Police Department is one of at least 13 agencies who are using the lasso-like device.
It comes with a safety, a laser for aiming and an activation button that launches the tether. The tether is made of Kevlar and discharges at 513 feet per second at a range of 10 to 25 feet.
It’s not meant to replace a gun or taser, but instead it’s intended for de-escalation.
A Glenwood Springs police body camera video showed BolaWrap in use on March 17. An officer is heard on the video telling a man running in the street, “You’re losing it man. You’re running in traffic.”
The man responds, “No I’m not.”
The officer replies, “Michael if you don’t stop we are going to have to restrain
“Michael, last chance, you are going to get restrained.”
The BolaWrap was then deployed.
The officer then approached the man with the cord wrapped around him and he was unharmed.
The following are the law enforcement agencies that now have the device.
1. Rifle Police Department
2. Avon PD
3. Manassa PD
4. La Junta PD
5. Otero County Sheriff’s Office
6. Nederland PD
7. Glenwood Springs PD
8. Louisville PD
9. Frisco PD
10. Antonito PD
11. Bayfield Marshal’s Office
12. Greeley PD
13. Greenwood Village PD
14. Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office