Less-lethal device aims to save suspects’ lives

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SAN DIEGO -- A Poway-based company is attempting to give cops and suspects a second chance with a new type of less-lethal device know as the "Alternative."

The "Alternative" is a one-shot steel projectile that fits on the end of a handgun.

The device is built to allow police officers to fire their service weapons into the "Alternative" projectile, sending an orange ball of steel flying at the suspect.

The steel ball can break bones and cause internal damage but does not penetrate the skin. The suspect that would have been shot with a bullet would then have the chance to surrender without being mortally wounded.

“It’s most likely not going to kill you, but it’s like being hit by hammer,” said Christian Elles, CEO of Alternative Ballistics.

The “Alternative” is being shipped to Ferguson, Mo. for its first deployment in an attempt to mitigate tensions between police and citizens.


  • Gary Swenson

    This is a great idea. Both the police and suspect have the same info. That pink thing is only going to hurt, but you only get the “alternative” shot once. The second shot will deliver the real deal.

  • Mike Johnson

    It’s a horrible idea. Cops are taught to double tap. They shoot more than one round. A gun is a lethal option. Your going to have to undo training to train them again. They often carry two shotguns. One for lethal and one with bright orange grips that is less lethal.

    • davepretty

      Exactly. I’ve never heard of a police shooting in which they only unloaded one bullet into a suspect. Well…other than the BART officer who unloaded a shot into the back of Oscar Grant who at the time was lying face down and handcuffed.

  • Andy

    Why don’t we use this in the military too, so we don’t kill public enemies? Instead we can waste tax dollars feeding them in lockup.

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