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FORT LAUDERDALE  (CBSMiami) — The Broward Sheriff’s Office is unveiling a new less lethal weapon that they hope will better protect members of the community as well as deputies.

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The weapon is a regular 12 gauge shotgun that is retrofitted with bright orange markings and the words “Less Lethal” on it.

A group of Broward Sheriff’s deputies from the agency’s Quick Response Force descended on a training facility in Markham Park on Thursday. Their goal was to get trained on the shotgun, or launcher, as deputies call it.

CLICK HERE To Watch Carey Codd’s Report 

Major Jim Polan showed CBS4’s Carey Codd the weapon and what it fires- 40 grams of lead pellets wrapped in cloth. It’s called a super sock.

“This system is designed to give the deputy another tool for their toolbox,” Polan said.

He said deputies plan to use the weapon for situations where deadly force is not necessary.

“It’d be a situation where we have an individual whose violent, possibly armed with a knife, possibly emotionally disturbed or challenged or we’re dealing with some emotional issues that we can’t get close enough to them without possibly harming them or harming ourselves,” Polan said.

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Polan said deputies have used it twice — once to stop a pit bull threatening officers serving a search warrant and once as a threat. The weapon wasn’t actually fired, on a violent man who was Baker Acted. He said it would hurt if you are struck by a super sock.

“It’s equivalent to about a 100 mile per hour fastball,” Polan explained.

CBS4 cameras captured deputies taking part in a real world scenario and deciding whether to fire the launcher.

he said about 100 deputies have been trained on it and there are about 50 of them being used by deputies.

Polan said deputies can only fire it from a distance and must be trained to aim only for a person’s hips or abdomen.

“We stay away from the head and the chest, obviously because even though this is a less lethal delivery system, the possibility of injury or fatality always exists,” Polan said.

For a deputy to be cleared to use the less lethal launcher, they have to pass a written test, a real life scenario and a shooting test.

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