TAMPA, Florida – Hillsborough County MPs will deploy a new non-lethal tool to quickly defuse dangerous situations. It’s called the “BolaWrap,” and the sheriff himself compared it to something out of a superhero movie.
Essentially, it pulls a kevlar tie that wraps around the person, allowing MPs to restrain a person while maintaining a safe distance. Sheriff Chad Chronister said the agency had been testing the BolaWrap since April.
“It’s almost something out of a Spider-Man movie,” he described at Tuesday’s press conference, “how the tie comes out with hooks and quickly wraps around the legs of the individual and is able to get a handle on that subject, maybe prevent that person… maybe harm themselves or put this MP in danger. “
“What about someone who wants to get out in traffic?” ” he added. “The scenarios, I think, are limitless for this resource to be useful.”
READ: HCSO Welcomes the Third Generation of the Literally Nominated Family for Service
Now, the agency will deploy around 165 to MPs on the ground, he told a press conference on Tuesday, where body camera footage showed examples of the BolaWrap in action. The tool can be seen to launch at an individual and wrap around them. It can be deployed up to 25 feet away and there is a laser that helps an assistant aim for the lower torso.
Chronister said it gives MPs the ability to overpower a non-compliant person without getting into a physical altercation. He said it would not replace other non-lethal options. In some cases, it can be used in conjunction with other tools like the Taser.
READ: Riverview boy adopted by HCSO detective after surviving stabbing, set on fire by his father
Ultimately, Chronister said it was smarter policing, making it safer for everyone involved: the community, suspects and MPs.
“Our goal is to defuse a situation and avoid any kind of physical confrontation,” he explained. “This resource, this less deadly resource, now offers our MPs the ability to do just that with subjects who may have autism, perhaps some sort of mental health crisis. These people are not people. who need to be stopped. These are people who need help. “
“This tool will allow us to do that,” the sheriff continued, “by deploying this without anyone getting hurt.”
Each BolaWrap is worth around $ 1,000 each.