ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Brownwood City Council has approved $15,000 in funding for the police department to purchase nine BolaWraps, a handheld restraint device not much bigger than a cell phone. The police department said this will be a safer way to detain people who may be under the influence.
“We can deploy this device, which when deployed, puts out a 7-foot Kevlar cord that will then wrap around the subject’s arms or legs – wherever we can aim that device – and it’s completely painless,” explained Chief Ed Kading with the Brownwood Police Department (BPD).
The city of Brownwood is the first in the country to use their opioid funding to purchase BolaWraps. Opioid funding comes from a lawsuit Texas and other states filed against drug companies, winning hundreds of millions of dollars in the efforts to battle the opioid epidemic.
Chief Kading told KTAB/KRBC the BolaWrap will be a much easier and safer way to detain those who may be under the influence.
“Alcohol, drugs, mental crisis; those things are going to happen and they’re very unpredictable. It’s tough, sometimes, to get them under control, and this will be a painless way to do that and very safe for everyone involved,” Chief Kading insisted.
Here’s an example video from Wraps.com on how the device works:
Deescalating situations in the safest way possible is BPD’s top priority, according to the department.
“The BolaWrap is not a pain compliance tool,” assured Brownwood City Councilmember Walker Willey. “It’s simply an immobilizer, and the videos that I’ve seen of it – both in practical, real street application and also just in training type applications – it’s super effective.”
Officials said Brownwood police officers will still utilize traditional tools like tasers, pepper spray and batons, when necessary.