Spotlight: WRAP Technologies' BolaWrap provides officers with safe, simple solution for de-escalation
The BolaWrap enables officers to restrain a subject from a distance of up to 25 feet using a 7.5-foot Kevlar cord launched from a small, handheld device
Company name: WRAP Technologies
Headquarters: Tempe, Ariz.
Signature product: BolaWrap
1. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Not everyone who needs restraint is a suspect in a crime or has committed some act of violence. It could be a family member that’s hard of hearing, a friend in a mental health crisis, or someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At WRAP Technologies, we sought to develop the right tools for better options to respond when higher use of force could lead to tragedy.
2. What is your signature product and how does it work?
When words won’t work and someone who poses a danger to themselves or others refuses (or is unable) to comply with law enforcement commands, our patented BolaWrap remote restraint device provides officers with a safe and simple solution for de-escalation.
The BolaWrap enables officers to temporarily and humanely restrain a subject from a distance of up to 25 feet using a 7.5-foot Kevlar cord launched from a small, handheld device. With its multi-dot laser array, aiming and deploying the device is straightforward and effective. It can also be reloaded and deployed multiple times or deployed simultaneously by more than one officer without injury to the individual in need of restraint.
It’s mechanically deployed. No chemicals, electricity or other harmful deterrents are used. Unlike irritant sprays, CEWs, firearms or even batons, the BolaWrap isn’t designed to cause pain to stop a threat. When used early in a confrontation, the BolaWrap may:
- Buy officers time to safely advance and detain (or get help for) the restrained subject
- Prevent the need to use physical and/or higher levels of force
- Promote proactive communication between officers and the subject
- Offer potentially positive cultural consequences the more it’s used in the field
3. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
The BolaWrap doesn’t just provide humane restraint for the person at the receiving end. It increases the distance between law enforcement and the subject, which lowers the risk of officer injury.
Plus, further use, instruction, education and evidence of the BolaWrap’s effectiveness have the potential for positive effects that could significantly reshape policing culture and increase public support. By implementing the BolaWrap, an agency can show their community that they’re active in finding new and innovative solutions to better protect and serve.
4. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Agencies have voiced concerns about the consequences of “failed wraps,” though even without a perfect wrap, using the BolaWrap buys officers time to de-escalate the situation rather than resorting to some higher use of force. And in many situations, the combination of the loud sound and rapid cord deployment alone is enough to encourage compliance or distract an individual long enough for officers to advance.
Meanwhile, communities across the country, driven by social change, see the BolaWrap as “just another weapon.” But the BolaWrap isn’t a weapon. In reality, it doesn’t even look like one. Pain compliance isn’t part of the design. There’s no chemical or electrical deterrent; no dangerous explosive charge. And, as we’ve seen from recent bodycam footage of the BolaWrap in action, it’s a humane method of restraining an individual who either can’t, or refuses to, comply.
5. What makes your company unique?
WRAP Technologies is a leading innovator of public safety solutions through the development of groundbreaking policing tools like the BolaWrap remote restraint device and the Wrap Reality virtual training simulator.
The BolaWrap is the only product available to law enforcement today that provides safe restraint without pain compliance and from a distance. It’s the only policing tool that relies solely on restraint to open a window of opportunity for officers to de-escalate confrontations, rather than resort to some higher pain compliance use of force.
With Wrap Reality, officers can train in de-escalation, conflict resolution, process and procedure, use of force, and so much more across a diverse selection of virtual maps and environments. Plus, the customizable controllers can be modeled to replicate any of the essential tools available to law enforcement – like the BolaWrap.
6. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
We’re protecting lives and saving careers with our innovative tools and training solutions.
7. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Officers now have an option for responding that they never had in the past. Where cuffing someone is always close-range and can require physical force, the BolaWrap restrains from a safe distance. No other tool currently on an officer’s belt can de-escalate a situation from a distance without pain compliance. And when combined with real-world, real-time training in a virtual space via Wrap Reality, officers can learn to respond to the latest challenges they could face in the field.
8. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share about you or your company?
In a report on the Efficacy and Safety of BolaWrap published in May 2020, use of force experts in the United Kingdom recommended all frontline officers carry the BolaWrap, and that the device be placed below handcuffs on the Use of Force Continuum.
9. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
WRAP is growing both in staff and in its product line of policing tools and training solutions. Our recent launch of the new BolaWrap 150 has been met with remarkable levels of excitement from both law enforcement and the community. And our new partnership with Amazon Web Services will allow our Wrap Reality virtual training platform to bring each trainee closer to the real-world experience than any other training available today.