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Columbus Police Add Crowd Control Device To Arsenal

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Police in Columbus have used a $40,000 Homeland Security grant to purchase high-tech audio equipment that will help control rowdy crowds in Ohio's capital city.

Division of Police officials on Monday held a demonstration for its newest tool - a long-range acoustic device mounted atop an armored vehicle.

The LRAD can send an ear-splitting directional blast of sound that acts like a water canon to break up crowds. It also has the ability to clearly broadcast messages within a range of 1.8 miles.

Lt. Paul Ohl, the head of Columbus police's SWAT unit, says the purchase was made after residents who have been subjected to tear gas in crowds complained that they never heard warnings to disperse.

Police declined to provide technical specifics such as the LRAD's exact decibel level.