Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Thursday personally demonstrated the BolaWrap, a policing tool being adopted and tested by law enforcement agencies across the country to humanely subdue emotionally disturbed individuals.
Adams, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer, said the hand-held remote restraint device, manufactured by Wrap Technologies, Inc., discharges an eight-foot, bola-style Kevlar® tether to entangle a suspect at a range of 10-25 feet with minimal to no pain.
This non-lethal technology, designed to be utilized early in a police encounter to prevent unnecessary escalation and violence, is being assessed by more than 30 police departments nationwide, including jurisdictions in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Utah, Adams said.
On Thursday, Adams said NYPD leadership received a presentation of the BolaWrap, adding that its future utility is currently under review.
After Borough President Adams’ testing of the device at Brooklyn Borough Hall, he urged the NYPD to initiate a pilot of this technology.
“As an NYPD veteran, who responded to a number of emotionally disturbed person (EDP) incidents during my law enforcement career, I can’t overstate enough the imperative of safety for at-risk suspects and police officers alike in crisis intervention,” he said.
“Addressing the challenge of EDPs is a matter of improved officer training, of increased therapeutic mental health care, and of enhanced technological approaches that are safe, accurate, and humane,” he added.
“The primary duty of all members of the law enforcement community is to preserve and protect human life,” Adams continued. “We can’t hesitate to closely study and test improved policing tools that can do just that.”
According to NYPD figures released last year, the department responds to nearly 150,000 emergency calls every year for service involving a person in mental crisis. The NYPD cited a 1 percent rate for use of any level of force in these calls.
“It was a great honor to appear before leaders of the NYPD and also perform a demonstration with Borough President Adams,” said David Norris, president of Wrap Technologies, Inc. “We respect Borough President Adams’ leadership, professionalism, and input as a retired captain of the NYPD, as we seek to help address crisis intervention incidents with BolaWrap 100.
“We look forward to working with one of the finest and most recognized police departments in the world,” he added.