At a time when police officers are facing scrutiny over their actions, Wrap Technologies (WRTC) hopes to offer a solution with the BolaWrap.
The BolaWrap discharges an 8-foot cord to entangle someone from 10 to 25 feet away. It discharges at 513-feet per second and wraps around someone at 270-feet per second. It also alarms people in a surrounding area by creating a sound at 105-110 decibels. Its purpose — to help police officers do their job safely, especially when it comes to dealing with the mentally ill, drug induced or non-complaint individuals.
“It's all about that communication, trying to talk to somebody that's in a crisis. We don't want to have to hurt them. So what's the lowest level of force that we can use to end that situation?” Tom Smith, president of Wrap Technologies, told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.
Smith, who is also the co-founder and former president and chairman of TASER, which is now named Axon Enterprises (AAXN), hopes that the design of the BolaWrap makes it non-threatening. Though it does not look like a firearm or weapon, officers should understand how to use it properly, he said.
“We do talk to them very much about employment of skills, of trying to keep that person contained, keeping them uninjured, keeping them from leaving the scene, that they're going to get them help,” Smith said. “Everything about it is de-escalation.”
Smith said the company is working on training officers, especially in intense situations. The police in Fresno recently used the BolaWrap to detain a stabbing suspect.
“The wrap did actually work in Fresno,” he said. “It just worked around his midsection where the officer was trying to hit the arms or legs, he didn't exactly get the right spot...then they were able to get close enough and use another tool.”
So far, over 1,300 police departments across the globe have requested demonstrations, training and quotes for the BolaWrap. While, 450 officers have been trained to use it actively. The actual BolaWrap itself costs $925 dollars, while the cartridge containing the lasso-like cord costs $30 per cartridge.
Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma.