WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Police have many tools at their disposal when responding to the variety of calls they receive every day to help de-escalate situations in a non-lethal fashion. But even the non-lethal tools still hurt the person they are used on.
Today – officers from around the Wyoming Valley came together to learn about a new device that could fill that gap and give officers a way to restrain someone without hurting them.
“What it does is it fills a gap before you would use any gap that would cause pain like an electronic device or taser, or a baton, or gas,” Don de Luca, Chief Strategy Officer of Bola Wrap.
The device Don de Luca is talking about is called the Bola Wrap 100. The wrap itself is a eight foot bola style tether. The Bola Wrap is launched at six hundred and forty feet per second, and wraps around and entangles a subject.
“So often we get called to homes where people say listen my husband hasn’t taken this medication, my son is on medication but hasn’t been using it. Someone in crisis, the officers will show up and try to put the person in a controlled situation but they’re not complying. So this gives us the distance of ten to twenty five feet to discharge a remote restraint that will hold their arms down, secure their legs so they can’t run so we can safely take somebody into custody,” de Luca said.
De Luca is a retired police chief, and was part of law enforcement for thirty three years. He says that the Bola Wrap is a need to have device.
“In today’s world of mental health and all the other things that officers are asked to deal with, in becoming with defacto social services. We can deal with it in a way that’s gonna keep people safe. Stop people from getting hurt. Stop law enforcement from using force that might not be necessary. And I see it as a win win for everybody.”
Chief Christopher Jagoe, the Director of Public Safety at Wilkes University, says that the police officers attended the demonstration to see if the device was something they would like to implement in their own departments.
“I think that once again it’s great to be able to reach out to all the departments around here because we’re all dealing with the same issues,” Jagoe said.
“They came up with an answer to a question because what we do in law enforcement when we use force is not pretty. People question why do we do things. So if we give officers the tools they need to do their job. It’s gonna be accepted,” de Luca said.