Sheriff’s office going high tech
Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office was presented with $12,000 from Scheels, Sibanye-Stillwater mining company and CHS Refinery Tuesday afternoon at Scheels in Billings. Back row, from the left: Leslie Jochems of Scheels, Dawn Kuper of CHS, Jim Irwin of CHS, Calvin Selvey and Dylan Howard of Scheels. Front row: Stillwater County Undersheriff Randy Smith, Sheriff's Office Cpl. Cole Waltner, Sheriff Chip Kem, Katelyn Robertson of Sibanye-Stillwater, Christine Gardiner of Sibanye-Stillwater, Charlotte Kern of Scheels and Byron Whitcomb of Scheels. Photo courtesy of Scheels

Thanks in large part to the Sibanye-Stillwater mining company, Scheels and the CHS Refinery, the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office will soon have one of the most modern tools designed to keep deputies and the public safer.

The three companies each donated $4,000 towards outfitting the sheriff’s office with Bola Wrap devices. That $12,000 total is the bulk of the cost, leaving approximately $5,000 to be paid through the regular budget, says Sheriff Chip Kem.

When the device first came out a few years back, Kem was intrigued and kept his eye on its development.

“It’s unique in that it does not rely on pain compliance,” said Kem, noting that pain compliance tools such as Tasers are law enforcement’s most widely used non-harmful tactics to get people under control who are not following commands.

Kem said that the Bola Wrap will not replace Tasers but will rather be an additional tool available to deputies. The Belgrade Police Department and the Baker Police Department are the only other LEO agencies in the state that use the Bola Wraps. One of Kem’s deputies — Daylon Richard — has already been trained on the device during his time as a Baker Police officer.

Two of Kem’s deputies do concealed weapons classes for Scheels on their own time through Stillwater Tactical. Scheels frequently makes donations to emergency service agencies and got Sibanye-Stillwater and CHS Refinery to partner with them, making the donation even larger.


Billed as creating “safer policing outcomes through innovative technology,” the Bola Wrap is classified as the lowest level of use of force an officer can employ without laying hands on someone who is being non-compliant.

It was created specifically for law enforcement with both officer and public safety at the forefront.

Operating like “remote handcuffs,” the Bola Wrap is a handheld device that discharges a Kevlar cord from a distance of 10 to 25 feet to restrain non-compliant individuals.

The Kevlar cords wrap around the person’s legs or arms, quickly immobilizing them.