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Officer-Designed 'BolaWrap' Restraint Device Aims To Deescalate Mental Health Encounters

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Police officers are dealing with a mental health crisis almost on a daily basis.

But Wrap Technologies thinks they now have an effective way to keep both the individual, the public and officers safe.

It is called a BolaWrap 100. It is a non-lethal restraint device that shoots a Kevlar cord about 10 to 25 feet.

The cord itself is about 8-feet long and quickly wraps around the person in question.

It became available to law enforcement officers about four months ago, and the Chaska Police Department is the first to try it in Minnesota. Designers say it is a new way of dealing with someone in a mental health crisis. It restrains them before the situation escalates.

(credit: CBS)

The wrap has hooks on the end and comes out of the device at about 640 feet a second. Designed by former police officers, they are hoping it keeps people from harming themselves or law enforcement.

"In this case, it's to develop a plan on what to do next, what to do before and what to do after," said Mike Rothans, COO of Wrap Technologies. "It's not just to wrap the individual, but it's then how to deal with individual afterwards."

The device is about the size of a remote control and costs about $800. The cartridges cost $30 a piece.

About a half-dozen law enforcement agencies around the country are currently using it, and another 40 are testing it.

Chaska will be testing the device for the next 60 days. In training scenarios, the BolaWrap has had more than a 90-percent success rate.

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