Local News

New Gadget Keeps Suspects Under Wraps

Posted November 10, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Police officers have a difficult job, especially when making arrests. But in a world where people sometimes try to fight their way out of custody, Fayetteville police have a new tool to keep suspects under control.

It's doesn't look like much, just a lot of straps, metal hooks and canvas. But the contraption called the "wrap" is strong enough to keep Officer Chris Young from moving. Officers say it does the same with unruly suspects.

Sgt. Mark Bridgeman says the Fayetteville Police Department has used the wrap several times since getting it in July. Officers say it's much safer than tying handcuffs to leg irons, which is what officers used to do to apprehend a suspect.

The old method had the potential to cause positional asphyxia, where the weight of the suspect's check on top of their lungs prevented them from breathing.

No one has ever died that way in Fayetteville police custody, but officers didn't want to wait for it to happen before making a change.

The idea behind this contraption is to keep a suspect under control so they don't hurt themselves or anyone else. WRAL'sTerri Grucatried it out. She couldn't move at all.

That's a trick that prevents a suspect from getting anywhere. Officers say it's safe for the suspect and for themselves.

All supervisors with the Fayetteville Police Department now carry the wrap. Police say it's a tool that truly measures up to it's name, as a way to keep violent people under wraps.

Several law enforcement agencies in California use the wrap. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office is testing the contraption to see if it's something they want to try.