Each agency will establish its own procedure for probe removal, collection, biohazards, evidence collection and maintenance. Treat probes that have penetrated the body as contaminated needles (biohazard). Remember, however, that the probes may also be valuable evidence.
If the probes must be removed from the subject, follow all department policies and procedures, including for handling biohazards.
Below are suggested methods for probe removal.
- Grab the probe firmly and quickly pull it straight out. Do not twist the probe as the barbed tip may cause additional injury.
- If the probes are not going to be collected and maintained for evidence, carefully place used probes sharp-tip first into a sharps container, secure in place, and place in a secure location where no one will accidentally touch the probes.
- Once the subject is restrained, prior to removing the probes, evaluate the need for medical attention as you would with any other use-of-force incident.*
- Take photos of any injuries, place the photos into evidence.*
- Collect the expended cartridge, probes, and AFIDs and place them into evidence.*
* As directed by department policy. The TASER training materials provide additional information on forensic evidence collection procedures. The probes, wires, AFIDs, and cartridge can yield important forensic evidence if properly collected, maintained, and analyzed. Ensure that the CEW is downloaded and the downloaded logs are collected per your agency’s policy.