Wichita police announce use of 'less lethal' weapon system

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Wichita police are trumpeting a new less-lethal weapon system as a way to preserve life during strenuous life-threatening situations. 

"Recognizing the sanctity of life is a priority within our police department," said Chief Gordon Ramsay.

The department's goal for this new tool is to provide potential less-lethal outcomes to very dangerous situations."

Woodrow said the new system is already in use, highlighted by a situation with a suicidal man at a home last month.

"A 39-year-old male was suicidal and sitting in the back yard of a home with a kitchen knife to his neck," said Sgt. Nikki Woodrow.

After officer's pleas to the man to remove the weapon, it was decided to deploy the ALS Tac 40 less-lethal weapon system.

Ramsay said the tool 'essential shoot a foam-type round out of a 40 mm launcher."

"The use of this tool allowed officers to take the (man) into protective custody, and transport him to an area hospital to receive mental health treatment," Woodrow said. 

It's something the WPD hopes can continue to save lives in the future.

"We don't want to take lives if we don't have to," Ramsay said. "Obviously, saving lives and recognizing the sanctity of life is our priority."

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