November 15, 2018 07:06 PM
There's a new device for police to use to de-escalate encounters. Chaska will be the first police department in Minnesota to test and buy a tool called the BolaWrap 100.
The chief of Chaska police is so confident it will help his officers he plans to buy eight and begin testing four of them Friday
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS got a close-up look at how the device works.
Chief Scott Knight got restrained in a practice test with the BolaWrap 100.
The COO of Wrap Technologies, Mike Rothans, said it's intended to be deployed early on with people who have severe mental health issues.
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It sounds like a gun and happens fast. Eight feet of a Kevlar rope is discharged from 10-25 feet away going 640 feet per second. It latches onto a person's clothing and then wraps around the body a couple of times.
"It's not just to wrap the individual, but then it's how to deal with that individual afterward," Rothans said.
But it's not designed to replace a gun or Taser.
"This restrains that individual so that you can get them help, without hurting them," Rothans said.
It's an additional tool to be used early on in a situation.
"This will provide an option, short of having to use deadly force. It may not be applicable every time. It may not work every time," Knight said.
But, the chief said they hope it'll de-escalate more and more encounters.
Knight said the initial investment is $6,500. Of that total, $5000 was donated from Minnetonka-based Michael Foods and $1,500 was used from drug forfeiture funds. Therefore, Knight said no taxpayer dollars are being used.
Updated: November 15, 2018 07:06 PM
Created: November 15, 2018 04:42 PM
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