MIAMI (WSVN) - After the recent spike in gun violence in South Florida, City of Miami Police officers are putting a new tool to the test.
The BolaWrap is a device that offers a potentially safer way for law enforcement to take suspects into custody.
“It’s not a less-lethal weapon. It’s just not a weapon,” said Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo. “It’s really an apprehension tool. It helps us subdue someone without using force and without injury.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez on Thursday volunteered to demonstrate how the new tool is used.
The mayor could be seen with his legs bound, with very little room for movement.
When deployed, the BolaWrap extends a rope that can wrap around the body. It keeps subjects from running away and from harming themselves or others.
When asked if the device hurt, Suarez said, “No. It startled me, which is a good thing.”
The small device would have likely helped Miami Police officers who confronted a man displaying erratic and aggresive behavior near a park in the Edgewater neighborhood, May 20.
When the man refused to cooperate, officers deployed a Taser gun and had to take him to the ground.
The rope can be wrapped around the legs or the arms, from the elbows to the wrist.
Acevedo said the BolaWrap will enable officers to use less force when detaining people who may be mentally ill, under the influence or not willing to follow commands.
“This is another option that can help us bring the person into custody, and quite frankly, it’s not even a use of force,” said Acevedo.
“We want to be able to apprehend people, to bring people to justice, but we want to do it in the most humane manner possible,” said Suarez, “so that one ounce of force that is unnecessary is not used.”
Acevedo said the device has been in use in Houston for three months, and it has already been used successfully in three cases.
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