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U peace officers replacing nightsticks with safer tool

Peace Officers at the University of Utah’s Department of Public Safety will begin carrying BolaWraps, an innovative device that can help them safely restrain violent individuals from a distance. The tool provides officers with an early intervention measure to deescalate dangerous situations, mitigate potential risks and injuries and avert tragic outcomes.

Why the switch

The decision to switch to BolaWraps was made last February after the department’s leaders reviewed the disturbing footage of events leading to the murder of Tyre Nichols. Consequently, the department announced that officers would no longer use nightsticks on campus. Chief Safety Officer Keith Squires explains that the switch to using BolaWraps is part of the Department’s commitment to continuously look for ways to provide the safest campus environment possible.

“Our goal is always to help, not to hurt,” says Squires. “BolaWraps help us achieve this goal by giving our officers a way to safely deescalate a potentially dangerous situation using as little force as possible, providing individuals the help they need and maintaining the wellbeing of everyone involved.”

How the BolaWrap works

The BolaWrap acts like “remote handcuffs.” By restricting the individual’s movement, the officers have time to safely approach them and gain control of the situation without the need to escalate the situation. The BolaWrap was designed to be used on non-compliant subjects who need to be detained but are not responding to verbal commands of officers.

The hand-held remote device deploys a tether to restrain non-compliant individuals from a range of 10-25 feet, proactively preventing escalation and reducing the risk of injury to all parties involved. Officers at the U have undergone training to ensure that they can effectively and safely use the tool.

The BolaWrap can be used in scenarios where an individual who needs to be arrested is threatening officers with violence or with someone who is in a violent emotional or mental crisis. In both cases, the device allows officers to safely restrain individuals and give them the help they need.

Learn more about the BolaWrap here.