CADILLAC — The Wexford County Sheriff's Office received training Tuesday that will help to keep both suspects and deputies safer.
Wexford County Undersheriff Rick Doehring said the sheriff's office received the training Monday on the non-lethal apprehension device. The sheriff's office purchased five of the devices, which he said will be another tool in the non-lethal toolbox, which already includes stun guns and CS gas. The hope is that these types of tools will lead to fewer hand-to-hand conflicts between suspects and police ultimately leading to fewer injuries.
As for what the new tool is, Doehring said the device fires an 8-foot cable of rope with barbed ends that will wrap around a person. It can be shot to subdue a person's arms and/or legs. The barbs will hook into clothing making it hard to remove which allows for police to safely take a suspect into custody.
According to the company that makes the device, BolaWrap is a hand-held remote restraint device that deploys an 8-foot Kevlar tether at 513 feet per second to wrap a subject at a range of 10 to 25 feet. It ensures a safe space between the subject and the officer, does not rely on pain compliance and is designed to be deployed early in an engagement.
Doehring said he believes non-lethal tools like BolaWrap are going to be used more often moving forward for various reasons but ultimately it comes down to safety.
"Anything that we can use that's going to be non-lethal, we're going to try to find it. This (BolaWrap) is just a different one that I think will probably have more deputies using than they would a Taser," he said.