Bloomington police get launchers that fire bean bags

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP): The Bloomington Police Department has added shotgun-like launchers that fire bean bags to the arsenal its officers can use during arrests.

The college town’s police department plans to assign up to four of the launchers to patrol officers and detectives on each of its three shifts.

The Herald-Times reports the launchers resemble shotguns, but fire bean bag rounds that Capt. Steve Kellams describes as “pain compliance” tools.

He says the goal is to reduce the number of injuries to both officers and people being taken into custody.

The launchers are outfitted with bright, safety-orange stocks and barrels and labeled with “less lethal” lettering.

Bloomington police already have two 40 millimeter launchers that fire gas or sponge rounds. Those have been used by its Critical Incident Response Team.

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