DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There's a new tool on the market that's supposed to help law enforcement when dealing with people with mental illnesses.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said his officers respond to several calls involving people making threats to harm themselves.
"They haven't done anything yet, but you know it's going to happen. So how do you prevent that? BolaWrap 100," Capri said. "You pull it out, you deploy it and you basically secure that person so they can't hurt themselves and the officers don't get hurt."
Capri said he thinks it's another great tool for his officers to have in their tool boxes.
The Daytona Beach Police Department invited the company, Wrap Technologies, to teach about the product and invited law agencies from all over Volusia and Flagler counties to watch demonstrations on how it works.
Capri and Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood both had the chance to fire the gadget. Chitwood also volunteered to be on the receiving end, allowing the Kevlar cord to wrap around his legs as he was secured with barbs and pellets.
"You don't feel anything. I mean, it's, like, a shock and all. The loud sound of a gunshot and the only thing I really felt was when the hook went into my calf," Chitwood said.
The tool has only been on the market for six months and costs $900 each. That doesn't include the $25 cartridge that goes along with it.
Capri said it's worth the money.
"I don't put a price on saving lives and this is going to save lives. Not only the officers' but it's going to save the lives of the individuals that don't need to have their lives taken just because they have a mental illness. They're the victims," Capri said.
Capri said the department will use drug forfeiture funds to buy between 30 to 50 of the BolaWrap 100s, to test them. The sheriff also said he plans on investing in the tools to see how they'll work on the streets.
"This is another tool that can help us meet that mission of making sure that deputies go home safely and the person in the mental crisis goes to where they need to be safely," Chitwood said.
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