The Fort Worth Police Department's SWAT team has become the first in the country to use a new lasso-style device to take down suspects.
The nonlethal weapon, called a BolaWrap, is a remote device that features a bola-style rope that wraps itself around the suspect's body.
"There is no less-lethal option that is going to be perfect in every scenario," SWAT commander Lt. Todd Plowman told KXAS-TV during a demonstration. "This is just more tools that we can use."
Wrap Technologies, a Las Vegas-based company, created the gadget that's being marketed to police departments across the U.S.
How does it work?
The BolaWrap cartridge contains an 8-foot kevlar tether that deploys at a rate of 640 feet per second, according to the company website.
Once it's fired, the rope wraps itself around the suspect one to three times at a range of 10 to 25 feet. A small hook attached to the end of the rope catches onto the person's clothing to secure it.
In less than a second, the suspect has been lassoed and restrained without harm.
Has the SWAT team used it on a suspect?
SWAT officers used the device recently on an armed suspect following a stand-off.
The suspect, who had barricaded himself inside a home, was first forced outside by tear gas.
After the man came out of the house, officers feared he might try to run so they deployed the BolaWrap on him, allowing officers to take the man into custody without incident.
"And his immediate response was to grab it and by that time our take-down officers were on top of him, placed him on the ground safely and took him into custody," Officer Donald McCreery told the news station.
The department may consider providing the weapon to all officers across the department in the future, according to Plowman.
"We're always looking for less lethal options and ways to de-escalate situations and to bring people into custody without injuring them if we can," Plowman told KXAS.