LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Bolawrap allows officers to deescalate situations without causing pain from devices like tasers. It could soon be the newest weapon in the hands of the Lockport Police Department.
Multiple law enforcement agencies across Western New York, including Auburn Police Department, Orchard Park Police Department, and Buffalo Police Department gathered at Lockport City Hall on Tuesday to test the Bolawrap and view a presentation from the company that makes it.
"You're not relying on hurting somebody in order to take them into custody," said Don De Lucca, Chief Strategy Officer at Wrap Technologies.
This is how the device works. Officers first line up the lasers around a suspects waist or legs. Then, the kevlar rope shoots out to that exact point, and hooks onto the person's clothes. That stops them from moving, and gives officers more time to respond. It's effective from 10-25 feet away.
It's designed to be used when officers encounter people who are mentally ill, and who may not be violent, but aren't cooperating with officers.
Lockport Police Chief Steven Abbott said some of his officers will attend a Bolawrap training in a few weeks.
"This type of device belongs in the hands of rank and file that are going to be at that call immediately, where somebody who may have a knife or wants to go back in the house or can't understand our commands," Abbott said. "We can wrap them up, secure them, with the least amount of force as possible."
Abbott said he hopes the device helps show the public that police are not violent.
He said that all Lockport police officers should have that device. He estimates it would cost $50,000-$55,000 to purchase the Bolawraps, with a yearly training fee of $50 and officer.
It's currently used in more than 35 states, and ten plus countries.