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Eugene Police Trying Out New High-Tech Restraint

Footage from EPD

A law enforcement device to detain suspects is out on Eugene’s streets.  Through June and into the early part of next month, the “BolaWrap” is being used on a pilot basis.

A video demonstration of the BolaWrap shows a man with two targeting lasers pointed at his waist and ankles. With a whistling sound, two tethers – looking like a cross between SpiderMan’s web and Wonder Woman’s lasso – wrap around him.

Sergeant Ryan Molony of the Eugene Police Department, explains:

“Basically it’s a Kevlar string, that’s extremely tough to break. It’s got two anchoring steel rods on either end, that stretch out around the side once it’s been deployed so when it hits the subject, it wraps around. 

"It doesn’t in essence, incapacitate anybody, but what it does, is it restricts their ability to  pull their arms up and move their arms around, or to try and kick, or run away at the time.” 

The BolaWrap is seen as a tool for when someone’s having a mental health or drug-related episode, not more potentially combative, violent encounters.

The EPD says pilot testing phase for the device ends July 7th.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.