By Jim Donnelly 

The online world is full of videos where police officers are wrestling with their suspects while trying to place them under arrest. 

Coconut Creek Police are now testing a safer way to take people into custody with a device called the BolaWrap, which according to police spokesperson Scotty Lehman, is safer for the person in crisis and the officers trying to handcuff them.

According to the manufacturer, the device is a patented, hand-held tool that deploys an eight-foot Kevlar tether to temporarily restrain subjects from a distance of 10-25 feet. This allows officers time to safely apprehend and take a person into custody.

“The idea being early intervention with a very low level of use of force,” said Lehman, adding, “If the situation has risen to the level where the officers can legally detain – as in the case of a Baker Act, for example – and you are not being cooperative, the officers can wrap you.”

At its core, BolaWrap helps increase the chances of de-escalation and the chances of nobody getting hurt, added Lehman.

Coconut Creek Police Department Tests New Device as an Alternative for De-escalating Arrests
{Courtesy Wrap}

“BolaWrap is another tool on the toolbelt,” said Officer Mike Guittari, who is certified to teach Coconut Creek Police Officers to use the BolaWrap. 

 “There are no triggers, no cartridges, casings, or bullets. They are called cassettes.” he pointed out, “It’s a remote-resistant device – it essentially handcuffs from across the room.” 

Deployment makes a loud noise that’s designed to get attention. 

“By the time they hear the bang and feel the wrap, the backup officers are running in and detaining them in handcuffs,”  said Lehman, adding, “The backup officers are key. While one officer wraps the person, the others cuff him.”

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Author Profile

Jim Donnelly
Jim Donnelly
A Coral Springs resident for over 30 years, Jim Donnelly has had a 40-year career as a photographer, videographer, and editor for South Florida affiliate news stations, along with CNN, ESPN, ABC Sports and News, NBC Sports and News, Fox News, and CBS. Donnelly has won several awards, including EMMY’s, for his team coverage. Currently, he owns Image Masters Photography and works as a Realtor.