BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) Law enforcement is called to a crime scene where a suspect confronts officers. Decisions have to be made in a split second. Deputies with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office now have another, less-than-lethal option, to control that situation.
“This is a tool to preserve life and one more tool to restrain people,” says BCSO training officer, Lt. Matt Morrison.
It’s called a BolaWrap. It’s about the size of a cell phone. It wraps the suspect in an 8 foot long Kevlar tether anchored by two weighted hooks. It uses a laser sight and propelled by a .380 caliber charge. “It can sound like a gunshot. We don’t want anyone to think we our shooting a gun so I would yell wrap, wrap, wrap and then I would fire,”
Covering more than 500 feet in a second, the ideal range is 10 to 15 feet. By the time you hear it discharge, you are already wrapped up.
“The very first thing I thought of when I saw it was this could save a life.” It is a first of its kind in Baldwin County. Sheriff Hoss Mack says his office has 15 of the devices so far, they cost a thousand dollars apiece. “It is just another tool that we can have in the less-than-lethal category.” It will be used at the corrections center, on mental health calls and in situations where a suspect refuses to obey the commands of an officer.
“We don’t want to hurt anybody but we don’t want anybody to hurt our men and women in law enforcement either,” says Sheriff Mack, “and this accomplishes both of those.”
The BolaWrap is already being used by dozens of agencies across the country giving law enforcement another choice when seconds count.