Portland police test new device to restrain people without use of force

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 7:18 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Portland police are considering using a new device that helps take a person into custody without the use of force.

It is called the BolaWrap. It is a handheld device that throws a net that wraps around a person’s arms, legs and waist.

It is designed to restrain a person, especially those having a mental health crisis, without hurting them.

Officers got some hands-on experience with the device on Wednesday.

“It’s a very easy technology to use in lesser risk scenarios, right, with suicidal ideation, someone having a mental health crisis that gives officers the ability to close that gap if needed,” Portland police Media and Community Liaison David Singer said.

The goal is to give officers an advantage where physical force is not necessary and lessen the risk of harm for everyone.

Portland police officials said they have yet to decide if they will use the BolaWrap.

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