Bolawrap, Police, Police Reform, Buffalo, New York

Bolawrap, Police

Buffalo police deploy BolaWrap, a lasso-style device, for first time

Buffalo police deploy BolaWrap, a lasso-style device, for first time

2/23/2021 3:26:00 PM

Buffalo police deploy BolaWrap, a lasso-style device, for first time

The tool is described by its maker as like 'remote handcuffs' but some have questioned its use in the New York mental health call.

The Buffalo Police Department in New York has deployed BolaWrap for the first time, using the restraint tool last week to subdue a woman during a mental health call.On Friday, officers responded to a call about a woman who might harm herself or others and was"underdressed" in the snow, WGRZ reported.

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Police said they spoke to the woman at length and urged her to get into a police car to be taken for a medical evaluation. She refused, prompting officers to use BolaWrap.It allowed officers to transport the woman to hospital without anyone getting hurt, police said.

BolaWrap is a hand-held device that fires a Kevlar cord that wraps around a person's arms or legs from 10 to 25 feet away. The lasso-type tool is designed to detain a person from a distance, giving officers an alternative to guns or Tasers.Wrap Technologies, its manufacturer, describes BolaWrap as like"remote handcuffs" and says on its website that it"safely and humanely restrains resisting subjects from a distance without relying on pain compliance tools."

Protesters hold placards bearing George Floyd's face at a march against police brutality on August 28, 2020, in Washington, D.C.Natasha Moustache/Getty ImagesIn a statement following Buffalo police's use of the device, the company's president Tom Smith said:"Public safety includes solutions that can de-escalate encounters, and that's exactly what the BolaWrap does.

He added:"BolaWrap doesn't rely on pain compliance and is designed to de-escalate situations and provide needed support for persons in crisis. We are pleased to continue seeing successful field deployments of the BolaWrap, especially by the police department of New York's second-largest city."

Captain Jeff Rinaldo, a spokesman for the police department, toldThe Buffalo News:"It works."But not everyone feels the same.The newspaper reported that at least one person on the Buffalo Police Advisory Board said Friday's incident should have been handled by mental health professionals, not police.

De'Jon Hall pointed out that because the woman did not trust police, having officers show up in the first place was"not the way to calm someone down."Rinaldo said mental health professionals were called to the scene as well as officers, adding that police deployed BolaWrap because"in a case like this, time is of the essence."

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Why post this with a picture of peaceful protestors? It should work pretty good at BLM riots? Before health care was due profit, cities had robust mental health facilities and people who could go out and help people like this. Won't be long before this gadget is deemed excessive. Just another tool for cops to kill innocent people with

I have an autistic spectrum son. When he was acting out, I'd wrap him in a blanket to subdue him. But I did that as a Mom who knew things would pass. I don't like police/strangers doing this kinda thing. Them lazy criminals emboldened by criminal representatives, won't they trow away that disgusting picture of this criminal.

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