In search of an alternative to conventional firearms, the South Heidelberg Township Police Department hosted a demonstration session of the BolaWrap less-lethal device. Regional law enforcement agencies were invited to attend and try out the BolaWrap device on Monday, at the Township building.
Training representatives traveled from Miami to demonstrate, and train Officers on the device, which is used in subduing a suspect, particularly those in the midst of a mental health crisis.
The BolaWrap is a hand-held remote restraint device that discharges an eight-foot bola style Kevlar tether at 513 feet per second to entangle an individual at a range of 10-25 feet.
Master Instructor Dave Morgan says it’s not a replacement for a Taser, but rather a device that is designed to provide the Officer with another tool of subject control. At the event, Morgan trained 7 officers to use the BolaWrap. “We train officers in the agency to become certified instructors, they in turn, train the officers in their department” said Morgan.
Used across the United States, the company is expanding since the introduction of the BolaWrap in 2016.
“Any device, there are a lot of emerging technology with Police departments. So we want to make sure that what ever device we invest our funds in that we make sure that the device is going to fit that need we are looking for” said South Heidelberg Township Police Chief Leon Grim.
Although the BolaWrap is not being used by his, or any other Berks police department currently, Grim is very interested in how it could help his Officers. “Generally, our less lethal capability now is the Taser device, but that can create some harm because it does shoot a dart and send a shock through people. This may be a step below that as it could incapacitate a person, preventing them from running, fighting, so it might be in that good spot where we need that capability.”