Area police check out new non-lethal tool

PERRYSBURG TWP., (WTVG) - There's a new product for police that could help to de-escalate dangerous situations.

It's supposed to subdue a suspect without causing them any serious injury. The idea is using a non-lethal way to bring a volatile situation to a peaceful end without causing any serious injuries or anyone losing their lives.

It sounds like a gunshot but it's far from it. The product is called Bola Wrap. The officer fires a Kevlar rope that wraps several times around a person's arms or feet, attaching with small, sharp hooks.

"The optics of what we do in policing are not always very pretty. So this now, we have a tool that we can use when someone is in a mental health crisis, who's not cooperating, on drugs, drunk, to gain compliance," said Don De Lucca of the Bola Wrap company and a former police chief in Florida.

The devices were on display Tuesday at Owens Community College for area officers to decide if this would work for their departments. They're considered non-lethal and to be used as a "non-pain" compliance option. Although there's some pain, as 13abc experienced in a demonstration, from the hooks digging into skin but it's far less painful than a stun gun.

“We want to try to deescalate and control suspects as quick as we can so the officers are safe and the community is safe," said Mark King, an instructor at Owens Community College.

King spent several years as a Toledo police officer. He said he recalls time when this tool would have come in handy.

"We see a lot of promise in this tool. It's not 100% but no tool is that we have but we're always looking for things that can help us in the field," said King.

No area departments use them now, part of that decision may come down to cost. The gun itself is $925 and each cartridge costs $30. But it could be money well spent if even one situation goes from potentially life threatening to under control quickly.

"Right now we go from commands to pain compliance. De-esclation to pain compliance. So now we have a tool that will fill that space in there that you can use sooner that displaces tools that are going to cause pain," said De Lucca.

The product is in 23 states and being used by about 70 departments. We don't know when or if any local departments will doing the same thing.