WPD chief: LRAD being misrepresented

WPD chief: LRAD being misrepresented

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department Chief Ralph Evangelous told members of the Wilmington City Council on Monday that equipment that the department wants to buy is being "purposefully misrepresented as a weapon."

The WPD recently asked the Wilmington City Council to approve appropriating nearly $30,000 to buy an LRAD 450 or Long Range Acoustical Device. WPD officials said that the LRAD can broadcast messages, warnings, and instructions to the public from up to 1.86 miles away.

"This is a speaker system," Evangelous told the city council during their agenda meeting Monday. "It's a communication device.

"There's a multitude of things we can use this for, one of which is not a weapon. It's being misrepresented by certain factions and, quite frankly, it makes no sense to me. It's a loudspeaker system for us to get out information out."

Evangelous also mentioned that the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office has an LRAD 450 and that Sheriff Ed McMahon has said he is willing to demonstrate the use of the equipment for members of the city council.

During a meeting earlier this month, council voted for the ordinance 6-1 with council member Earl Sheridan opposing.

Council voted 6-1 to waive the second reading. Since the vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will need to be approved again at Tuesday night's meeting.

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