Police Test Out New Nonlethal Weapon in Westminster

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Police gathered in Westminster Wednesday to try out a new nonlethal weapon designed to help officers avoid having to resort to their guns when subduing suspects.

Las Vegas-based Wrap Technologies demonstrated its "BolaWrap," designed to tangle up suspects in a long cord, without causing serious injuries.

The handheld plastic device resembled the Tasers already carried on the duty belts of many law enforcement officers. But rather than electrified wires to shock a suspect into submission, the BolaWrap is based on an ancient weapon made up of a rope or cord attached by two weights, used to wrap around and immobilize adversaries.

Rather than bullets, Wrap Technologies Vice President Mike Rothans said the device fires "an 8-foot Kevlar cord with four pronged hooks on each end. And it comes out at about 640-feet-per-second and wraps around the individual twice... controlling their arm movement or leg movement."

Westminster Police Department Chief Ralph Ornelas said he likes the idea.

"I look at saving lives, but also saving the stress levels of my officers, God forbid they're shooting somebody in a situation that, potentially, we could have used this, could have mitigated a deadly force incident," he said.

Several other agencies, including Newport Beach Police Department, also took part in the demonstration.

The BolaWraps cost about $800 each.

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