WINTER PARK, Fla. — When handcuffs aren’t enough to control a combative suspect, some officers in Central Florida now have a new tool.
Winter Park Police Department is one of the agencies that’s invested in a full-body restraint system called the Wrap Restraint.
It’s used in scenarios like the Winter Park Police faced in June 2023. Body cam video shows police trying to arrest a man accused of stealing from Goodwill. The suspect is seen banging his head against the concrete and making suicidal threats.
Officers say, in cases like this, where suspects are combative or wish to harm themselves, it’s challenging to transport them.
“That’s a time they start acting up, trying to harm themselves or damage the vehicle,” Winter Park police Capt. Garvin McCombie said.
Channel 9′s Ashlyn Webb agreed to be placed in the restraint to see how exactly it works.
The wrap takes two to three officers whose goal is to get the suspect in the restraint within three minutes or so.
Here’s how it works:
They begin by wrapping the person’s ankles with a restraint.
Officers then apply a second restraint, tightening straps around the calves and thighs, immobilizing the ankles.
“There’s no movement at all,” Webb told officers.
“That’s what it’s intended to do,” said McCombie.
Officers tighten the restraints more before sitting the person upright.
Officers fasten a third restraint over the shoulders and check to see if the restraints are not too tight around the chest, making sure the person can still breathe easily.
Then, officers can easily pick up the person in the restraint and place them in the patrol car.
If needed, they also put a helmet on the person, so they don’t try to hit their head.
Winter Park told Channel 9 that the entire time a person is in the Wrap restraint, they’re monitoring the person in the event they have a medical issue.
Winter Park said it invested $6,000, in buying four of the new devices and plans to invest at least $3,000 more.
Other agencies, including in Orange County, are considering investigating the devices.
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