SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Police in the city of Springfield will soon be using a new restraint device. The device is called a BolaWrap and it’s a remote restraint device. Essentially, it ties up people who are uncooperative before a situation escalates.
This handheld device discharges a Kevlar cord to restrain uncooperative suspects from a distance of up to 25 feet. Officers are instructed to only hit two areas, the feet or chest and arms. The cord projects from the device and wraps around a person.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno told 22News, “Then the officers can go to that individual, he or she, and be able to cuff them at that point in time. So it lessens any type of use of force and I think it will be especially beneficial in potential mental health calls.”
The city now has 12 of these public safety tools and they will be stored in cruisers. Currently more than 500 departments across the country use the bola wrap.
The cost to the city for these devices was a one time fee of $21,500. Police Superintendent Clapprood is confident the city would find them as a useful de-escalation tool.
“Every once in while, between mental illness or addiction, we get into that really tough spot where someone is just not answering our commands, doesn’t seem to understand us, may have a weapon, a knife or a stick… and we don’t want to deploy lethal force,” said Clapprood.
According to the Superintendent, officers are currently being trained on these devices and they could be potentially in use by next week.