Buffalo Police say first-time deployment of Bola Wrap over the weekend was a success- but some local organizations disagree

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Police used the “BolaWrap” for the first time over the weekend.

Police say the deployment of the new safety tool was a success- but Change Agents of Western New York and The Western New York Peace Center disagree.

In a Zoom meeting Monday, those organizations argued that the incident should have been handled by a mental health professional, and the situation was escalated by having officers there.

They say mental health professionals should always be called in situations like this.

“Is it being called successful because the person didn’t die? That it didn’t lead to the death of a transgender woman? A Black transgender woman?” asked Amy Cross-Viola of Agents of Change, WNY. “I fear that the bar, for this to be called a successful response to mental health crisis, is just too low.”

Buffalo Police tell News 4 a mental health professional was at the scene, but once they deemed the situation dangerous, officers took over.

They also say the woman was not injured from the BolaWrap, but she was taken to ECMC.

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