A new device resembling a gadget on Batman’s utility belt will soon be in the hands of several hundred Los Angeles police officers to help detain individuals without using force.
The tool, called the BolaWrap 100, fires a Kevlar cord that ensnares an individual’s body to restrict mobility, giving officers seconds to swarm the person without using more drastic measures such as a Taser or gun.
The handheld device, made by Las Vegas-based Wrap Technologies, sounds like a gun when it deploys a tether to entangle someone between 10 and 25 feet away. Barbs attached to the end of the tether grab hold of the person as it wraps around their arms or legs.
Top LAPD leaders told the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, the civilian panel that oversees the department, last week that officers will start testing the tool for free for 90 days in January. The 200 devices will be given to officers across the city once they are trained, Deputy Chief Martin Baeza, head of the personnel and training bureau, said during a discussion about next year’s budget.
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