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Wrap Technologies raises bias concerns about grants for less-lethal tools

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) recently granted $19 million for police forces to acquire "less-lethal" tools, aiming to provide officers with alternatives to guns in resolving potentially violent situations. However, the grant distribution has primarily benefited Axon, the makers of Taser, raising concerns about fairness and diversity of options.

Retired Seguin Police Chief Terry Nichols, now with Wrap Technologies, highlights the BolaWrap, a non-lethal device resembling a modern lasso, as a safer alternative. While Tasers have raised concerns due to associated deaths, BolaWrap has not resulted in fatalities or lawsuits for excessive force.

Despite BolaWrap's proven effectiveness and widespread adoption by more than 1000 police forces nationwide, the grant predominantly focuses on Tasers. Nichols criticizes the lack of diversity in the grant allocation and the biased listing of Taser as the sole vendor, suggesting a deliberate choice.

Attempts to include BolaWrap as a pre-approved device for grant funding were denied, leaving police agencies seeking alternative funding sources. This contrasts with the Law Enforcement Camera Grant Act, which does not specify vendors, allowing agencies to choose freely.

The discrepancy between grant programs underscores the need for fair and inclusive procurement practices in law enforcement equipment acquisition, particularly in light of recent legislative mandates such as the requirement for body-worn cameras.

Company raises bias concerns about grants for 'less-lethal' tools
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New hope for police de-escalation: BolaWrap offers safer alternative to stun guns

BolaWrap emerges as a safer alternative to traditional stun guns in police de-escalation efforts, particularly amid the ongoing mental health crisis in the United States.

Developed as a non-lethal method to restrain individuals, BolaWrap utilizes a seven-foot-long Kevlar line to wrap around subjects, providing a shock-and-awe effect without causing additional pain.

Former Police Chief Terry Nichols highlights its effectiveness and safety compared to other devices, with an 86% success rate reported by officers. The Detroit Police Department's crisis intervention team has adopted BolaWrap, recognizing its value in situations where traditional methods may escalate tensions. Nichols advocates for its widespread adoption among law enforcement to enhance safety during crisis interventions.


NC chief says BolaWrap could reduce harm, build trust

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