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Taser Law Enforcement Probe Removal Styles

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VARIOUS PROBE REMOVAL STYLES FROM LAW ENFORCEMET
Yuma County Sheriff's Dept, AZ
I will quote our policy sections in reference to probe removal:
1 After administering the device EMS shall be advised to intially examine the subject prior to transport, if
there is any indication of secondary injury. Waiver of the procedure can be done with permission of the
Watch Commander or Scene Supervisor.
2. If the probes from the device should penetrate a sensitive area (groin,neck face) EMS response shall be
mandated, Removal of probes from any skin area shall be performed by EMS as soon as possible or if
under
direction
of
qualified
medical
staff.
Removal of probes shall be in accordance with training.
Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Wisconsin Resource Center:
This is the section we added to our policy to cover probe removal.
Duties After Deployment of TASER:
Medical personnel will be summoned to the scene to assess the subject. If the exam or other
circumstances dictate the need for further medical treatment; the subject will be transported to the nearest
medical facility.
Medical personnel will remove probes located in sensitive areas such as the neck, throat, face, and groin.
Removal of probes in other areas will be at the discretion of the on scene supervisor. Probes embedded in
non-sensitive areas can be removed by firmly grasping probe and pulling straight out in quick fashion.
Medical staff will provide first aid following removal of probes. This should include applying a
disinfectant and Band-Aids to probe sites as needed.
Photographs will be taken of probe impact sites and any other related injuries.
Probes, which have penetrated the body, should be treated as biohazard "sharps". Probes should be
carefully placed, sharp tip first, back into the expended cartridge bores and secured with tape.
Cartridge should be placed in a evidence bag, labeled and secured in a evidence locker.
Upon its release as evidence the entire cartridge will be disposed of using the large "sharps" disposal
container located in the North Med. Room.
Roseville Police, CA
Our policy is that the probes can only be removed by certified medical personnel during a medical
clearance procedure. We also have to photograph the area of impact and save all parts (cartridge, wires,
probes) as evidence. the probes are treated as biohazardous materials since they may contain bodily
fluids. (We also require a medical clearance before going to jail.) Field personnel break the wires, but
leave the probes intact. The areas are photographed, preferably before and after. The entire assembly,
cartridge, wires, and probes are booked into evidence.
hope this helps. mpendergraft@roseville.ca.us

San Diego Police, CA
The San Diego PD policy states the probes must be removed by medical personnel. We will transport the
person to a hospital and have the doctor yank them out. PD personnel are forbidden to remove the
probes.
Montgomery County Sherif's, MD
We have medics on our team that look at all injuries and determine if a person needs to be transported to
the hospital. The probes don't cause such an injury, our medics have to write a brief medical report. A
department use of force report would also be filled out in this case. We have no special policy at this
time.
Williamson County Sheriff's Dept, TX
As of this time we do not, but it will most likely consist of EMS, or doctor removal when wrote.
Minneapolis Police, MN
I have submitted a policy recommendation to our adminstration but it has not been approved yet. We
recommended basically the same policy that TASER uses in regards to the probes. Unless the probes are
in a sensitive area or in any situation where officers felt that they should be removed by medical
personnel, officers can remove them in the field.
Longmont PD, CO
Our TASER policy is identical to TASER International guidelines regarding the probe removal. The only
person allowed to remove the TASER probes are the TASER user, or in the case of a probe hitting an area
capable of being damaged such as an eye, the genitals, etc., then the suspect is transported to the ER for a
doctor to remove the probe.
The policy is simple and well written. The TASER is also very low on the Use of Force continuum, at the
same level as pepper spray, but preferable sinc eyo don't have to worry about decontaminating the
arrestee. We have had several TASER deploymennts and I only know of one case wher it had no effect
(due to very heavy clothing and baggy leather outer garments).
I realize I haven't told you much that you aren't already aware of but hopefully this will help the other
PDs or SWAT teams to adopt a similar straight forward policy.
Irvine PD, CA
Most of departments I have trained do have a written policy dealing with a medically approved method of
removing the darts from a suspect. Most policies dictate that the handling officer call the paramedics for
initial medical treatment and that's followed up with the suspect being transported to the local hospital to
have the darts removed by a doctor. That was one of the areas I wanted to discuss with you when I arrive
in Scottsdale to visit your facility.
In any case, California is very liability conches and therefore, any less lethal weapon developed for use in
this state usually goes through what I call a medical precautionary stage, otherwise know as a CYA
period. In 1992, just after the Rodney King incident, I was on a panel for P.O.S.T. which traveled through
out California introducing law enforcement to Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). The same CYA philosophy was
applied towards decontamination of a suspect exposed to the agent. Over time, and after a certain
confidence level was reach for OC, most agencies dropped the calling out of the paramedics and now
simply decontaminate the suspect at their own facilities, using water and air.
I will gather a few samples of policies dealing with TASER use and forward them to you as soon as
possible. Let me know if you need anything else, my office phone is (949) 459-7554.

Sincerely,
Mario A. Casas
Medford PD, OR
Our policy is to take the suspect to the local hospital to have the probes removed. Our facility is close by
and it takes only a few extra minutes to have a trained medical person to remove and confirm that there is
no injuries due to the TASER.
Westminster Police Dept. , CO
Our policy simply reflects the manufacturer's policy of having the probes removed by medical personnel,
if imbedded in skin/tissue.
Glastonbury PD, CT
My agency policy is a little conserative. Impalled objects are to be stabilized and suspect is transported to
ER. Policy called for additional probe to be brought for Doctor examination. We do the same for bean
bag hits. Subject / suspect is brought to ER, Cleared by MD before going to lock-up. I needed to do this
to appease the medical staff. For us it really not an issue, as hits are few, and the city can afford the
CYA.
So, in a nut shell, I don't have a removal policy, just a "leave it stuck in" policy.
Washoe County Sheriff's Dept, NV
It is the policy of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office to have a trained medical professional remove
probes when a suspect is hit with your product.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, OR
Before Clackamas County wrote the policy on the barb removal we took our first subject to the
emergency room to see how a ER Doctor would remove the barbs. The ER Doctor grabbed the barb
firmly and pulled it out. Period. He then put triple antibiotic on the wound and put a Bandaid on it.
I then passed the information to our medical services coordinator and she wrote the protocol which is, the
nurses remove the barbs by firmly grabbing them and pulling them out, put triple antibiotic and a bandaid
on the wound.
Quoque PD
In reference to your question concerning our dept's policy, I have discussed this issue with the chief of
police. Our agency has decided that no officer will remove the probe from the arrestee and any person
shot with the Advanced M26 Taser will be transported to the hospital to receive adequate medical
attention. The removal of the probes will be conducted by a physician. Our officers will provide the
attending physician with a spent probe which is stored with each Taser so that the physician will know
what
procedure is required for removal. Our policy also states that in the event that one or both of the probes
fall out on it's own, the arrestee will still be transported to the hospital E.R. and examined by a physician.
C.Y.A. !
S. Chih, P.O. #104/1
Quogue PD

 

 

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