BLADENSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Police use of force has been a hot topic for many years across the country, but a new technology could help save lives when used during certain encounters.
A new video shows an interaction in June between Bladensburg police officers and a man who’s going through mental distress. You can hear officers asking the man to stop resisting, and then they deploy a device called ‘bolawrap,’ used to safely restrain those who don’t comply.
Lieutenant William Silvers of the Bladensburg Police Department said, “It’s basically an extended handcuffing technique. A cord comes out and wraps the person up.”
Chief Tyrone Collington of the BPD stated, “As long as we create a safe distance, we can deploy the bolawrap and immobilize that individual’s hands.”
The bolawrap shoots out a rope 8 feet in length. Chief Collington says every officer is trained on this technique to help de-escalate certain situations that could avoid the use of force. Authorities say they can be used for civil disturbance calls or anyone who is not in compliance.
This new item can help safely end those scary encounters, just like this past incident; all without injury.
“She saw us deploy it, she saw us wrap her son up and safely put handcuffs on him. He was not harmed and she was pleased with that,” Chief Collington said.
Bladensburg is one of the few agencies in our area to use bolawrap. More than 600 agencies in the U.S. and 44 countries currently have the devices.