LENEXA, Kan. — Many of us have seen police chases and spin outs on TV that have gone bad. One metro police dept. is paving a safer way to stop cars on the run.
The Lenexa Police Department recently deployed the Grappler for the first time and it was successful.
Think of the grappler as a lasso. There’s a web of straps that circle the tire. Then, another tether that the police car pulls.
Grappler engaged – this snag maneuver is a safer way for law enforcement to stop cars on the run.
Cpl. Rich Sanchez with Lenexa police spotted a drunk driver on I-35. When he tried to pull him over. The driver took off.
That’s when the Grappler spreads its wings.
“It’s kind of like the bat mobile,” Sanchez said. “He hit the little switch inside and then it deploys.”
The web wraps around the tire and the dangerous driver isn’t going anywhere.
“If you’re in the driving car, all it just feels like is your vehicle had a malfunction,” Sanchez said.
The Grappler doesn’t spin out the car, like a pit maneuver would do. On a highway, pit or stop sticks could be dangerous with innocent people driving by at a high rate of speed .
“I think it could help save lives,” owner of Stock Enterprises Leonard Stock said.
He actually came up with the Grappler one night after watching a police pursuit show.
“They had some pretty bad smashups of innocent people getting smashed into,” Stock said. “I had an uneasy feeling watching that, like I’m sure everyone did.”
Lenexa police is the only agency in Kansas to get their hands on a Grappler. In Missouri, Cass and Bates County Sheriff’s Offices both have one.
Sanchez said it takes a lot of practice and special training to pull off an accurate Grappler, but it’s worth it.
“It’s a lot more controlled,” Sanchez said.
He believe this outcome will pave the way for a safer community.
“At the end of the day, his tire got popped and that’s it,” Sanchez said.
Right now, the Lenexa police only have one Grappler. With a successful deployment under their belts, they’re hoping to add many more to their fleet.
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