LaGrange police speak on technology helping to avoid use of excessive force

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 9:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 8:23 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The national conversation about police use of force has intensified since George Floyd’s death. A local police department is using non lethal technology to avoid unnecessary use of force.

Over 900 agencies in the US have adopted the use of BolaWrap. This remote restraint device is a tool the LaGrange Police Department has been using since 2020. The department says it’s used on uncooperative suspects or nonresponsive persons in crisis.

With a focus on saving lives, the developers of BolaWrap felt it was important to give law enforcement officers a less lethal option to get a restraining person in custody.

“Law enforcement is kind of limited, you know, with their resources, with the tools that they have on their tool belt. SO oftentimes, officers would have to go hands-on with folks, and then either the officer or the individual, or both, were injured, or they would have to go to a different device like a Taser. And unfortunately, sometimes, even a gun.” Captain Eric Lohr said

Now that a less lethal option is available, Captain Eric Lohr says this new technology has been great for the LaGrange Police Department.

“Our officers really like having that device. I think they’re realizing it’s taking a little time, but they’re going hands-on with folks is not always the best option.” Captain Eric Lohr said

When needed by an officer, the BolaWrap is pointed like a TV remote at someone to restrain them. It then releases a Kevlar rope with the anchors. Officer Hassan Harb has used the technology on his shift various times.

“It was really effective. First of all, it scares everyone. So you’re kind of not ready for it when it first goes off, and just imagine if we were ready for it and still scares us.” Officer Hassan Harb said

On July 24, Harb and several LaGrange officers were honored by Wrap Technologies, the company that supplies the equipment. The officer says this technology gives them an opportunity to not look like the bad guys.

The developer of BolaWrap strives to drive safer outcomes, empowering communities and law enforcement to move forward together.