WPD shows new restraints to keep suspects safe during violent confrontations

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Police call their new restraint wrap system a game-changer for the roughly 1% of suspects that are violently combative in Wichita.

The system is literally a wrap that confines the legs of a suspect.

“Ultimately, we get them into cuffs and get them into a safe, a prone position,” said WPD officer Chris Nixon. “We don’t want to interfere with respiratory.”

After George Floyd was killed in police custody, there has been a national conversation about how police use force.

WPD showed off the wrap system and officers say it allows a constrained person easy pathways to breathe.

They also say it only takes two or three officers to place the restraints on a suspect.

“We are only talking about the one-percent that get really combative,” said Nixon.

WPD has tested the wrap and those who came up with the concept say it is ready to roll out on the streets as an option to restrain suspects in severe cases.

The goal is to have officers work hard to never get to that situation.

Officers now go through training on use of force, and new officers have at least 300 hours of study and hands-on training with use of force.

“So we want to have a situation not escalate in the first place,” said Sgt. Kenneth Kimble with WPD. “We have communication in every stage of the game. Without the communication, all you have is a fight, and we don’t want fighting. We want to be able to communicate why we need them to do it and what the consequences are. A lot of people are adults a lot of them are going to be able to make decisions once they realize this situation is not going away unless I do what needs to be done. And communication is the number one way of doing that.”

WPD is training officers on how to use the wrap and when to use the restraint system when facing a violently combative suspect.

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