Buffalo Police to Start Using BolaWrap Restraint
Buffalo Police Officers will soon have a new tool for restraining people during mental health calls, according to WIVB. The BolaWrap is a device that allows police to use non-lethal force to restrain people. It launches a wire, which wraps around a person's waist and knees. Training had been pushed back due to COVID-19, but according to the Department, it will begin in the next few weeks.
According to the BolaWraps website, it is designed to restrain without pain,
Like "remote handcuffs", BolaWrap® safely & humanely restrains resisting subjects from a distance without relying on pain compliance tools.
Buffalo Police Advisory Board Proposes Changes to How Mental Health Calls are Handled
In other policing news, the Buffalo Police Advisory Board brought a proposal to Common Council to change how mental health calls are handled. According to WIVB, if the changes are accepted, when a mental health call is placed to 911, mental health experts will handle the call initially rather than police. Buffalo Police Captin Jeff Rinaldo told Channel 4 that the county handles the dispatching when emergency calls are received,
“The county dispatchers are getting trained to hand calls that qualify off to Erie County’s Crisis Services hotline. They will have counselors on hand to take those calls and remedy them in the appropriate manner. If for some reason in the middle of that call, if the need for police becomes apparent, the crisis services workers will have direct services to Buffalo Police dispatch to send a car to as not delay the response.”