LPD gives new device a test run

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

In Thursday’s paper, we wrote about the LaGrange Police Department being one of ten agencies chosen to test a new non-lethal device. The BolaWrap is a handheld device that deploys an 8-foot Kevlar rope that can entangle people from 10 to 25-feet.

Other agencies, including the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Pine Mountain Police Department and Franklin Police Department, attended the demonstration.

The BolaWrap is an alternative to use of force weapons that are potentially lethal, such as guns, or other alternatives like a Taser.

The LPD is hopeful the device might one day be an unharmful way to bring down someone going through a mental episode.

To be clear, by no means is the BolaWrap ready to hit the streets. Lt. Eric Lohr said the LPD is going through the vetting process now to see if it is another tool the department can use.

For now, the evaluation continues, and that’s a good thing.

Nobody, including the officers themselves, wants law enforcement personnel using a product they haven’t tested while on the job.

“Unlike the other tools that we have, it is unlikely that this would cause any kind of pain to anybody, but I want to be cautious at this point,” Lohr said.

“We are still evaluating the product.”

Regardless of how the evaluation turns out, it’s a positive that local law enforcement agencies are open to trying new equipment. Officers often find themselves in some strange situations. Adding another tool — a non-lethal one — to their disposal can only be a good thing.