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.
The TASER 7 Cartridge safety clip can be used to remove probes from an individual. The safety clip has a notch built into the end.
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.
1. Slide the safety clip between the probe and the subject, catching the probe between the dart body and the dart point.
If the probe bumper has broken free of the rest of the probe assembly, slide the safety clip in the same way to catch the probe between the probe bumper and the dart point.
2. Pull the safety clip (and the probe with it) straight out. You may want to place your thumb on top of the base of the probe to stabilize it. Do not twist the safety clip or probe as the barbed tip may cause additional injury.
- Take photos of any injuries, place the photos into evidence.*
- Collect the deployed cartridge and probes, and place them into evidence.*
- 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.
* As directed by department policy. The TASER training materials provide additional information on forensic evidence collection procedures. The probes, wires and cartridge can yield important forensic evidence if properly collected, maintained and analyzed.