WELCH, W.Va. – The Gary Police Department is hosting a demonstration of a new nonlethal weapon system Friday, August 28, at 10:00 A.M. at the Jack Caffrey Arts and Cultural Center located at 146 Wyoming Street in Welch.
The system is a BolaWrap device which was developed by the same people that developed Taser weaponry systems. Using the dynamics of Bola weapons from ancient Greece and South America, the system fires a weighted Kevlar cord at 513 feet a second and is effective at a range of ten to twenty five feet.
“This weapons system is not a pain compliance device,” said Gary Police Chief S. P. “Pat” McKinney. “This simply hobbles a subject so law enforcement, or corrections, can then restrain them without harming them or risking harm to officers. Sometimes, with the mentally ill, or drug overdose subjects, they are not compliant but yet, not aggressive.”
McKinney indicated the session will include a video demonstration by factory representatives from either California or Chicago and a hands on session where some people will have the system deployed on them.
“When an officer has to use a weapon that relies on causing pain to get the person to comply, the reaction to the pain of a person who doesn’t understand why they are being restrained causes a violent reaction to stop the pain that escalates the encounter with disastrous results for either the subject, officer, or bystanders.”
McKinney hopes to get all Law Enforcement agencies in Raleigh, Wyoming, Mercer and McDowell Counties to attend next week’s demonstration.
“This Bolawrap gives law enforcement an option to restrain that reduces risk of injury to all involved and is much more humane to the subject. We want to get that option open to the law enforcement community in Southern West Virginia,” said McKinney. “This may be the only live deployment demonstration in this region, especially with these actual representatives from the company, and I am hoping to give every agency, Law Enforcement or Corrections, an opportunity to learn and see how it works. This may reduce number of violent encounters in Southern West Virginia dramatically.”
McKinney can be reached at Gary Police Department, 304-448-2209, if any agency wants to attend or has questions.