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New River Valley law enforcement agencies testing new restraint device

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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DUBLIN, Va. (WDBJ) - It makes a loud popping noise when it goes off. The device is called the Bola Wrap. Officers say it could help them temporarily restrain suspects to safely take them into custody.

“It gives law enforcement officers another option,” said Gregory Ballengee, a distributor with Southern Police Equipment.

It shoots out a cord that wraps around the person officers are trying to restrain.

“It does not induce any type of pain on the individual, and it allows us again to safely bring those individuals into custody and get them the help they need,” said David Morgan, a former police officer and Bola Wrap instructor.

The device deploys a non-lethal seven-and-a-half-foot Kevlar cord at the blink of an eye.

“Optimum deployment is 10 to 25 feet. That’s what we’d like to see,” said Morgan. “Before it strikes the individual, the pellets that are on either end of the court centrifically wrap around the individual’s legs or upper torso.”

Law enforcement can then cut the wires with scissors and later handcuff the individual. Officers say it could help them when responding to a mental health crisis.

“Those people don’t understand our commands, and sometimes they react to law enforcement in an aggressive manner. We don’t want to inflict pain on those people; they’re just calling out for help,” said Morgan.

Officers say the goal of using this device is to have more options to detain people as safely as possible.

The device is already being tested by law enforcement agencies in southwest Virginia.

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