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SPECIAL REPORT: New police restraint the WRAP controls violent suspects and prevents injuries

A new device called “the WRAP” is now being used by Santa Barbara Police as a way to control violent suspects who may harm themselves or officers.

It’s a velcro-type body cover that can be used in addition to handcuffs.

The WRAP goes around ankles, legs and has a strap that connects everything to the suspects chest.

In some cases a face mask is added to prevent spitting.

Police say these days many suspects are in a combative mode due to heavy intoxication or powerful drugs.

“Yes it happens quite often these days. We see more of it. That’s why it is important to have it for their safety and our safety,” said Sgt. Eric Beecher.

NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter John Palminteri portrayed an upset citizen last night in a police class for residents learning about the department’s operations.

The conflict involved a dispute over too many parking tickets and anger over the police actions.

That led to flailing arms, loud voices, and risks to those in the room.

Police took action to subdue the outburst but it did not completely work and an additional officer with the WRAP was called in.

Sgt. Mitch Jan was teaching the citizens class. He explained every step of the police response and the use of the WRAP. Jan said a supervisor needs to be present to make sure it is applied correctly as instructed by the device maker and to protect everyone involved.

The wrap is not partially applied. If a suspect has any medical issue, police make decisions on the spot to call an ambulance or change their restraint plan. So far, officers say it has worked without any issues.

The device also keeps the suspect from kicking windows in the police car or hurting medical personnel if they need care at the scene.

Overall it can save lives by bringing a violent or escalating situation to an end quicker than a prolonged struggle with officers, or situations where lethal weapons are used.

For more information on the WRAP go to :

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