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Spiderman-Like Police Device Wraps Up Suspects

FOP President Dan Hils gets wrapped up by the BolaWrap which imobilizes suspects.
Ann Thompson
FOP President Dan Hils gets wrapped up by the BolaWrap which imobilizes suspects.

A remote restraint designed to de-escalate a situation before a suspect gets hurt is gaining traction nationwide among police departments. On Wednesday, Cincinnati Police and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department got a look at the technology.

The BolaWrap, made by WRAP Technologies, shoots a kevlar cord that wraps around a suspect's arms and legs. It's designed to be used early on in an engagement with people who are not cooperating with police, like the mentally ill for example.


The device is the size of a remote control and when deployed, sounds like gunfire. It's designed to be discharged from 10 to 25 feet away and has a laser for accuracy.

COO Mike Rothans told officers who came to the Cincinnati Police Academy to learn about it, "We're not pretending that this is a magic device. But no device we carry is the magic device, right? The gun doesn't solve everything. The baton doesn't solve everything. An electronic device doesn't."

Cincinnati FOP President Dan Hils was one of the first to volunteer to be shot with the kavlar cord. "I think it has great potential to reduce more serious uses of use of force. And any tool that we can put on our belt that can help prevent a deadly force encounter, should always be considered," he says.

WRAP Technologies says 160 agencies in 41 states are using the BolaWrap. It's also been deployed in 26 countries. It's not cheap. It costs about $1,000 per device.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.