Grand Blanc Township PD considers ‘BolaWrap’ device
Officers can use the remote restraint device from 10 to 25 feet away
GRAND BLANC TWP., Mich. (WJRT) - With recent headlines, use of force by police officers has come under scrutiny. One company thinks it has a solution when it comes to de-escalation tactics with a new tool.
Officers with the Grand Blanc Township Police Department got to try out the newer device, called a ‘BolaWrap.'
The device fires an 8-foot long kevlar tether at 270 feet per second, when 10 feet away from someone. It wraps around the person’s body at lightning speed, giving officers a better chance of making an arrest without a fight.
“You feel the impact, but there’s not pain,” says Dan Savage, a senior master instructor with Wrap Technologies. “Chiefs, administrators, and communities are demanding it. They want options in the hands of their officers so that they can take people into custody and temporarily restrain them in a much more humane way without pain compliance.”
Savage spent 36 years in law enforcement, 32 of them in Grand Rapids. He travels to different departments, training officers how to use the device.
“I think it’s going to save some lives. I also think it’s going to save some careers,” says Savage.
About 180 law enforcement agencies across the country already use the BolaWrap. Following the death of George Floyd, the company says more than 400 departments have reached out to learn more.
“I would say in the last few months we have seen an increase in the types of calls where people are suffering some type of mental issue,” says Sgt. Scott Theede with the Grand Blanc Township Police Department.
He says times are tough with a pandemic and lockdowns. He says a device like the BolaWrap could make a big difference with compliance.
“Right now, basically, we have verbal and then we would have to escalate to, in our department’s case, a taser,” says Theede.
The device itself costs around $924 each, with a single-use cartridge at almost $30.
But Theede says it would be worth the cost to accomplish the department’s two goals when going on a call.
“One is that we and the officers that are on scene go home safely. Also that the person that is in crisis gets the treatment and the help that they need,” says Theede.
Grand Blanc Township PD says it is not fully committed to buying the Bola Wrap just yet. But it is seriously considering it.
Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.