BolaWrap is not a kind of sandwich or garment, but rather a handheld remote-restraint tool now being piloted by the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD).
The device, intended to be used to restrain from a distance uncooperative suspects or people experiencing a mental-health crisis, discharges an 8-foot-wide bola-style Kevlar tether to entangle a person at an optimal range of 10 to 25 feet.
This low-level control device is intended for people displaying passive or active resistance, police said. Officers may use the BolaWrap initially to restrain a person and take them into custody safely before an incident escalates.
The department now has 30 BolaWraps assigned throughout its eight district stations and to its Crisis Intervention Team. Officers assigned to carry the BolaWrap must receive training from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy before being allotted this equipment. The pilot program will continue until April 2023.
“FCPD continues to seek the latest advancements in our profession to prepare our officers for situations they encounter,” said Maj. Brooke Wright, director of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy.
“Every day, officers utilize verbal skills and de-escalation tactics to resolve situations peacefully,” she said. “The BolaWrap device provides another potential tool for officers to safely take someone into custody when individuals present harm to themselves or others. We look forward to continuing this pilot and identifying other ways to aid our officers, keeping them and the community safe.”