By Sydney Stoller
With calls for police reform making the headlines in recent months, the Yorktown Police Department hopes to implement a new tool that will detain suspects in safer, less lethal from.
Over 100 community members gathered opposite Town Hall on Sunday for the town’s annual car show, where Councilman Tom Diana, a former police officer, hosted the event and encouraged folks to donate funds that will go toward the purchase of a new resistance tool called a BolaWrap.
The device is a handheld nonlethal tool for law enforcement to use when trying to detain people who are not complying with commands, especially those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or who are under the influence of drug or alcohol.
“(It’s a) less than lethal remote restraint device used by law enforcement to help them apprehend and bring people into custody without having to engage in a hands-on interaction,” said David Morgan, a former police captain and representative of Wrap Technologies, the organization that invented the BolaWrap.
Instead of using pain to force targets to adhere to police orders, the device, when discharged, releases an eight-foot Kevlar cord that wraps around the target’s body up to three times. Morgan said Wrap Technologies has distributed the device to more than 250 police departments nationwide and 40 countries worldwide.
During a demonstration of the device, Morgan instructed Diana to put on a pair of sweatpants over his jeans and pointed the BolaWrap’s green laser at his knees. A sound like a gunshot echoed in the parking lot, and Diana grinned, unscathed aside from the cord wrapped around him.
Morgan said the BolaWrap will enable police officers to catch suspects and then assess their needs accordingly, rather than initially resorting to unnecessary gun violence. He added that while the tool could potentially cause injuries, none have been recorded thus far.
“The town 100% backs the police,” Diana said. “They do what they need to do, and they do it well.”