Who is Wrap Technologies?
Wrap Technologies is an innovator of modern policing solutions with a mission to create advanced technologies for the safety and security of public safety. Wrap’s headquarters is located in Tempe, AZ. The company also has offices in Lake Forest, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and New York, NY. Wrap was founded in 2016 and is a publicly traded company listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under ticker symbol WRTC. Wrap’s flagship product is the BolaWrap Remote Restraint device, and the company has multiple other products in development. All BolaWrap products are manufactured in the USA, at Wrap’s headquarters.
What is the BolaWrap?
Thought of as “Remote Handcuffs”, the BolaWrap® is a hand-held remote restraint device that discharges an 8-foot bola style Kevlar® tether at 513 feet per second to wrap a subject’s legs or arms at an effective range of 10-25 feet.
Each tether has a 4-pronged hook on either end. The tether and its hooks are contained in a cartridge. Each cartridge contains and is powered by a partial charge .380 blank. To deploy the tether: the officer loads a cartridge into the device, a safety is turned to the off position which then automatically illuminates a green line laser for accuracy. The officer then manually moves the slide handle to the rear, and the activation button is pressed to deploy the tether. Each cartridge can only be used once, and a new cartridge can be reloaded into the device in approximately 3 seconds.
What are the benefits of the BolaWrap?
Created for law enforcement and the military, BolaWrap is the only remote response to resistance tool that ensures a safe space between the subject and officer. It does not rely on pain compliance and is specifically designed to be deployed early in an encounter to decrease the potential for injury to the subject, bystanders or the officer. Inflicting pain often escalates encounters, BolaWrap’s non-threatening form allows time to de-escalate and provide needed support for the person in
In which situations should the BolaWrap be used?
BolaWrap was designed to be used on non-compliant subjects who need to be detained but are not responding to verbal commands of officers. Before an encounter escalates to a point where lethal force is needed to be used, the BolaWrap can be deployed to help safely restrain a subject from a distance, without relying on inflicting pain to gain compliance.
Ultimately, each law enforcement or military agency creates their own policy and procedures for their agency to determine when the BolaWrap should be used by their agency. Wrap suggests the following scenarios for when BolaWrap deployment should be used:
● Emotionally Disturbed Persons (EDP)
● Passively resistant and non-compliant subjects
● Mildly aggressive non-compliant subjects
● Mentally ill subjects
● Suicidal subjects/Persons in crisis
● Subjects under the influence of alcohol and drugs
● Armed (not with a firearm), non-assaultive, non-compliant, non-mobile
● SWAT operations
● Riot control
What is De-escalation and Use of Force?
When encountering a subject who must be detained, officers are faced with the daunting task of de-escalating the situation (according to De-escalation Techniques, de-escalation is the act of moving from a state of high tension to a state of reduced tension) and taking the subject into custody without injury to the
subject, the officer, or bystanders.
In general, the amount of resistance an officer faces from a noncompliant subject will determine the amount of force the officer will be allowed to use in order to achieve compliance from the subject. According to the National Institute of Justice, use of force can be defined as the “amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject”. The various levels of force that an officer can use is referred to as the Use of Force Continuum. Verbal commands exist on the very low end of the Use of Force Continuum, while the use of deadly force exists on the very high end. BolaWrap is considered by law enforcement to
be positioned on the low end of the Use of Force Continuum.
How do police officers deal with subjects who pose a threat but refuse to comply with officer commands?
Police officers today are the de-facto social services for communities in crisis. Police officers are constantly faced with noncompliant subjects who are either experiencing a mental health crisis, are in a drug induced psychosis, or in some state of being that disables them from being able to respond or comply to the commands of an officer. These noncompliant subjects often pose a serious threat to themselves, others, or the officers, and they must be detained.
The use of higher levels of force may lead to serious injury or death. Although the use of higher levels of force may be warranted and justified, the optics are often not understood and do not present a positive image of law enforcement. If de-escalation tactics are not successful on a mentally ill or drug impaired subject, and the subject poses a serious threat to him/herself or others, law enforcement agencies and officers are faced with a perilous choice of which pain compliance tool to use to subdue and control the subject. This quandary has resulted in the De-policing Phenomena – 76% of police officers say they are more reluctant to use force when appropriate out of fear of negative optics. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, more than 1 in 10 police encounters involve mentally ill subjects, and 1 in 4 fatal police encounters involve mentally ill subjects.
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and retired NYPD Police Captain recently said, “Every four minutes in the city [NYC], there is a call for an emotionally disturbed person (EDP).” Sheriff Jim Hart of Santa Cruz County recently stated, “Deputies respond 10 times a day to people experiencing serious mental health crises, which translates to roughly 3,000 responses annually.”
The BolaWrap is intended to serve as an additional tool to help officers safely restrain subjects who are not complying, without having to resort to the use of higher levels of force. For a comprehensive report on Refining the Role of Less-Lethal Technologies, by the Police Executive Research Forum, click here.
Has the BolaWrap been used on any subjects in real life?
The BolaWrap has been used on subjects in the field numerous times by various law enforcement agencies across the United States. In many instances, the mere presence of the BolaWrap’s green line laser was enough to motivate the subject to comply. In other instances, the BolaWrap was deployed to successfully wrap and de-escalate the encounter, enabling the officer to take the subject into custody without harm to the subject, the officer, or others. The shock factor created by the sudden wrap and the loud sound of the BolaWrap being deployed greatly assisted in the de-escalation of many encounters.
How many police departments are carrying the BolaWrap?
There are currently more than 120 police agencies throughout the United States who are carrying the BolaWrap, with many more agencies currently in the process of training and writing policies for their department. Since the beginning of 2018, more than 1600 police agencies have reached out directly to the company requesting BolaWrap demonstrations, training and quotes. The company spent 2019 building out a nationwide distributor network to support the company’s distribution of the BolaWrap in the United States. The company now has 11 US distributors covering 45 states.
Is the BolaWrap being used internationally?
The Company has delivered BolaWrap products to 22 different countries thus far. Each country is in various stages of either testing or carrying the BolaWrap. The company has 16 international distributors covering 26 countries to facilitate global distributors, with more export licenses and distributors in the process of being signed.
Are Human Rights Organizations supportive of the BolaWrap’s implementation?
Activist Redditt Hudson, Chairman of the Board of The Ethics Project and Regional Field Director of the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said about the BolaWrap, “Anytime you can have a more humane response to someone in crisis, it’s not only good for the department, it’s good for society.”
The community sees the BolaWrap as a low-level force option that is not intended to cause pain to achieve compliance from a subject in mental crisis. Deescalation tactics and mental health training isn’t always enough when dealing with subjects in mental crisis who pose serious threats to themselves or others. With the BolaWrap, officers can safely restrain and detain subjects without risking serious injury to the subject, as would be the case were higher levels of force to be used.
Is the BolaWrap dangerous?
BolaWrap is classified as a less-lethal weapon and is generally perceived by law enforcement as low on the Use of Force Continuum. Other devices on an officer’s duty belt intend to inflict pain in order to gain a subject’s compliance (i.e. batons, pepper spray, electrical weapons, guns, etc.). Similar to handcuffs, the BolaWrap is a restraint device designed to restrict the movement of a subject’s legs or arms and does not intend to inflict pain in order to achieve compliance. If a subject is not wearing clothing, the BolaWrap can still wrap and the small hooks at the end of the tether may penetrate into a subject’s skin. Regarding the potential for a neck wrap, BolaWrap has a green line laser for precise accuracy, and officers are trained not to deploy the BolaWrap above the elbow area of the subject.
What if the subject is running, will the BolaWrap still be used and will it work?
Although the likelihood of a successful wrap may decrease if a subject is running, the BolaWrap can still be effective and potentially wrap subject’s legs who are running. Each agency creates their own policies and procedures to determine in which scenarios the BolaWrap should be used.
How is the gunshot-like sound emitted by deploying the BolaWrap helpful during real life scenarios?
Diversionary devices are commonly used by law enforcement as a tool to distract a subject. The sound of the BolaWrap deployment will surprise a subject and distract their attention providing officers with vital seconds to put their plan into place to safely take the suspect into custody. In use cases thus far, the sound has proven to de-escalate the encounter by causing the subject to submit to the officer.
How is the BolaWrap carried? Is there enough space on the police officer’s duty belt to carry the BolaWrap?
There is only so much real estate on an officer’s duty belt. In many agencies across the United States, some less-lethal tools on the belt have proven to be ineffective and are therefore being removed from the belt. In addition to the Kydex Holster offered by the company to carry the BolaWrap, the company also offers a belt clip which allows officers to clip the BolaWrap on their duty belt, cargo pants pocket, or inside their outer vest pocket.
What does the training for the BolaWrap consist of?
BolaWrap is a very simple device and one can learn how to deploy the BolaWrap in a short time. Wrap offers a 30 minute BolaWrap Familiarization Course as orientation in the safe and proper use of BolaWrap. Wrap Training Academy has more than 50 certified Master BolaWrap Instructors in 19 states who conduct ‘Train the Trainer Courses’ to certify instructors of individual police agencies. Instructors at those police agencies then train the rest of the officers in their agency. A ‘Train the Trainer’ course consists of a 3-hour classroom session and a 2-hour field session.
Is the BolaWrap expensive?
The BolaWrap is well-priced relative to other less-lethal tools. Depending on a variety of items including order quantity, customer location, and other factors, The average officer in the United States can be equipped with the device and accessories for approximately $1,000.
Who invented the BolaWrap?
BolaWrap was invented by Wrap’s Chief Technologies Officer, Elwood G. “Woody” Norris. Woody is an award-winning American inventor and author of more than
80 U.S. patents, primarily in the fields of electrical and acoustical engineering. Woody was the winner of the 2005 Lemelson-MIT Prize for his invention of a “hypersonic sound” system which allows sound to be focused with high precision – a technology currently used in re-directional sound weapons by the military. For more information on Woody, please visit https://wraptechnologies.com/about-us/.
Was the BolaWrap inspired by a superhero?
Despite the numerous comparisons to devices used by Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and other comic-book superheroes, according to its inventor, Wood Norris, BolaWrap was inspired by the Spanish “bola” (ball), also known as boleadoras. According to Wikipedia, boleadoras was “…a type of throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, used to capture animals by entangling their legs. Bolas were most famously used by the gauchos (South American cowboys), but have been found in excavations of Pre-Columbian settlements, especially in Patagonia, where indigenous peoples (particularly the Tehuelche) used them to catch 200-pound guanaco (llama-like mammals) and ñandú (birds). The Mapuche and the Inca army used them in battle. Researchers have also found bolas in North America at the Calico Early Man Site.”
Can the public or private security companies purchase the BolaWrap?
The company continues to receive countless requests to purchase the BolaWrap by individuals, private security, bail bondsman, fugitive recovery agents, mental health institutions, places of worship, and schoolteachers. BolaWrap is currently only available to law enforcement and military agencies. However, the company does anticipate making the BolaWrap available to other professionals in the future.BolaWrap is considered a firearm by the ATF, making it more complex to sell devices to sectors outside of law enforcement and the military. The company is also working on a version of the BolaWrap not powered by gunpowder, in order to make the device more consumer friendly.