Wellston Police Becomes 1st Oklahoma Police Department To Use BolaWrap

Thursday, November 11th 2021, 5:15 pm

WELLSTON, Oklahoma -

Wellston Police Department said they're noticing an increase in the number of mental health-related calls they are responding to. Now, officers are being given a new tool to help during these calls.

Wellston police is the first police department in Oklahoma to use BolaWrap. The new restraint device helps when taking someone into custody that may be experiencing a mental crisis.

“It’s a split-second decision that we have to make. It can determine the outcome for the person that we’re dealing with and our self and that decision determines whether or not we go home at the end of our shift,” Todd Beesley said.

Assistant police Chief Beesley said Wellston police are always looking for tools that are safer for their officers and the community.

“The last thing that I want to have to do is use a forced source where somebody may be hurt or killed. If I’m not put in that situation and I have the option to use a BolaWrap, that’s the option I would choose,” Beesley said.

All Wellston officers have their own BolaWrap to carry on duty. Beesley said the tool is designed wrap up a suspect's legs. We're told it can be used up to 15 feet away which makes it easier to stop a suspect and get them into handcuffs.

“We have had a couple of deployments with them since we’ve had them. The first one was a female subject. She was combative and non-compliant. There was an officer with a Taser on scene, but the decision was made to be more effective using the BolaWrap. It turned out it was the best choice. She was taken into custody without any injuries to her or to the officer,” Beesley said.

Even though Wellston is the first department in the state to use the tool, they expect other law enforcement agencies to follow.

The Wellston Police Department participates in mental health training every year. They're looking into crisis intervention training as well.