Chicago Police DepartmentUniform and Property U04-02-04
Taser Devices
Issue Date:21 January 2016Effective Date:21 January 2016
Rescinds:17 October 2014 Version
Index Category:Uniform and Personal Equipment
This directive outlines policy relative to Taser devices.
  • A.General Information
    • 1.The Taser is a device used to control and subdue a subject through the application of electrical impulses that override the central nervous system and cause uncontrollable muscle contractions. Two darts attached by thin wires are fired from a cartridge attached to the handheld device. When both darts attach to the subject, a timed electrical impulse is applied to the subject at the control of the operator.
    • 2.The Taser contains a computerized function which retains data of all discharges of the device.
    • 3.Tasers will be carried, handled, tested, and deployed by members who have completed Department-conducted training on their safe handling and deployment.
    • 4.Taser requalification will be completed annually.
    • 5.A spark test, conducted to check the device for proper functioning, occurs when a member trained in the use of the X2 device depresses the ARC switch located on the left or right side of the device.
      • a. Tests should be up to five seconds in duration.
      • b.The device should be pointed in a safe direction.
      • c.The cartridge will not be removed prior to conducting a spark test.
      • d.The trigger will not be depressed to conduct a spark test.
  • B.Department-Issued Taser Devices
    • 1.District station supervisors:
      • a.must ensure that all available Tasers are issued to sworn members who are trained to use the devices.
      • b.will designate a member on their watch who will be responsible for the issuance and safe storage of Taser devices.
      • c.will ensure that the daily assignment roster sent to OEMC and entered in the PCAD reflects members with a Taser by placing the symbol "=" next to the members' names.
        The daily assignment roster must be entered and sent to OEMC immediately after each roll call.
    • 2.The designated member at the beginning of each tour of duty will:
      • a.account for all Tasers assigned to the unit.
      • b.prepare a Personal Equipment Log (CPD-21.919) to record the issuance and receipt of the Taser and its component parts. This log will:
        • (1)be prepared by each watch.
        • (2)contain the serial number of each Taser and all cartridges distributed with each Taser in the "Miscellaneous" column.
        • (3)be forwarded to the unit secretary for retention in accordance with records-retention requirements.
          The retention period for the Personal Equipment Log is four police periods.
      • c.issue a Taser, holster, and at least two cartridges to each Department member who has completed the Department Taser training.
        Department members assigned to field duties that have been trained in the use of Taser devices will request the issuance of a Taser and will be required to carry the Taser. The Taser will be carried in an approved holster, on the support side. Members will ensure the Taser is carried in the approved holster to reduce the risk of damage to the Taser and cartridges. If there is an insufficient supply of Tasers, they will be issued at the station supervisor's discretion.
      • Tasers in the approved holster in the designated location within the police facility.
        Department members will not remove the Performance Power Magazine or cartridges for storage.
      • e.upon the return of a signed-out Taser, check the power level of the digital power magazine.
      • f.ensure that any Taser which malfunctions or whose digital power magazine indicates a power level less than twenty percent, indicated by the display flashing "LO BATT," is, along with its holster and digital power magazine, hand-carried on the 2nd watch to the Taser Repair Center, located at the Education and Training Division, and exchanged for a replacement device and/or component parts.
      • g.ensure that Department members requesting the issuance of a Taser:
        • (1)sign the Personal Equipment Log to indicate receipt of the equipment.
        • (2)upon return of the items, record the time of the return on that same log.
      • h.ensure any damaged Taser cartridges are hand-carried on the 2nd watch to the Taser Repair Center for replacement.
        If completed, a copy of the TRR will be presented to the Taser Repair Center for replacement cartridges.
  • C.Taser Deployment
    • 1.A Field deployment of a Taser is:
      • a.any probe discharged, including accidental discharges;
      • b.the use of the device by physical contact to stun a subject; or
      • c.the use of a spark display during a use-of-force incident.
    • 2.A Non-field deployment of a Taser is any:
      • a.spark test outside of the first hour of the member's tour of duty.
      • b.spark test lasting more than five seconds.
      • c. deployment used strictly for the purpose of Department-conducted training or annual qualification.
    • 3.Spark test conducted by a trained Department member.
      A Department member issued an X2 device may spark test the device within the FIRST HOUR of the member's tour of duty. Only ARC events up to five seconds conducted during the first hour of the member's tour of duty will be considered a spark test of the device for the purposes of data reconciliation.
      A Taser Non-Field Deployment Report will not be completed to document a spark test conducted within the first hour of a trained member's tour of duty.
    • 4.A Taser device is approved for field deployment by sworn members when both of the following circumstances are present:
      • a.A Department member is confronted by an offender classified as an assailant or active resister; and
      • b.The Taser device operator can safely approach the subject to within the eighteen-foot effective range of the device.
    • 5.A request for a Department member equipped with a Taser device will be made via the requesting member's radio zone or citywide frequency.
  • D.Deploying Member Responsibilities
    • 1.A member who is about to discharge a Taser device will, when possible:
      • a.inform all other Department members on the scene of the imminent deployment of the device.
      • b.give verbal commands to the subject prior to, during, and after deployment of the Taser.
      • c.for back shots, aim for the subject's back below the neck area; for frontal shots, aim for lower center mass.
        It is recommended that Department members deploy the Taser to the subject's back whenever possible.
    • 2.A member who deploys or anticipates the deployment of a Taser will request that a supervisor respond to the scene.
      For all field deployments of a Taser, the station supervisor assigned to the district of occurrence will ensure that a supervisor at least one rank higher than the deploying member responds to the scene of the Taser deployment when such a supervisor is available. Consistent with the Department directive titled "Taser Use Incidents," the station supervisor assigned to the district of occurrence will ensure that COPA is notified and an administrative log number is obtained. During the hours when COPA is not available, CPIC will be notified to obtain the administrative number.
    • 3.The member who field-deployed the Taser will follow the procedures listed in the directive entitled "Taser Use Incidents."
  • E.Non-Field-Deployment Responsibilities
    • 1.A Department member who conducts a non-field deployment of a Taser that includes a spark test outside of the first hour of the member's tour of duty or a spark test lasting more than five seconds will:
      • a.complete a Taser Non-Field Deployment Report.
      • b.submit the report to the on-duty station supervisor in the district of occurrence. The report will be submitted prior to the end of the member's tour of duty.
    • 2.The following situations do not require the completion of a Non-Field Deployment Report:
      • a.deployments used strictly for the purpose of Department-conducted training or annual qualification.
      • b.spark tests lasting up to five seconds conducted with the first hour of the members tour of duty.
    • 3.Upon receipt of a Taser Non-Field Deployment Report, the station supervisor will:
      • the report for the appropriate test use of the device.
      • b.ensure that the report is filed in the Taser file specific to that device.
  • F.Reporting Procedure for a Damaged, Lost, or Stolen Taser Device
    Supervisory personnel will:
    • 1.ensure that subordinates use the Taser as prescribed.
    • 2.take immediate corrective and/or disciplinary action if a member is observed or reported to be improperly handling, operating, or in any way damaging a Department Taser.
    • 3.conduct an investigation when a Taser is:
      • a.damaged, and:
        • (1)ensure that appropriate reports are prepared,
        • (2)initiate a Complaint Register (CR) investigation if the damage was caused by a member's neglect or improper conduct, and
        • (3)submit a To-From-Subject report detailing the nature and cause of the damage, referencing the CR number if applicable, through the appropriate channels.
      • b.lost or stolen, and:
        • (1)ensure that the appropriate case report is prepared and, if appropriate, initiate a Complaint Register investigation. Copies of all reports will be sent through channels to the:
          • (a)Taser Repair Center, located at the Education and Training Division.
          • (b)Supervisor of Police Inventory, Equipment and Supply Section.
        • (2)ensure that an Administrative Message Center (AMC) message is sent to all districts and units.
  • G.Data Reconciliation
    • 1.District/unit commanding officers will ensure that a Taser deployment data report is downloaded for each Taser assigned to the unit at three-month intervals.
      If necessary, this report may be generated more often.
    • 2.The Taser deployment data sheet for each Taser device will be reconciled with the Taser file and relevant Personal Equipment Logs to ensure that every Taser deployment has been appropriately documented. Lack of documentation for any recorded use of a Taser will be investigated and appropriate actions taken.
    • 3.The Taser contains a computerized function which retains data of all discharges of the device.
  • H.Arsenal Committee Responsibilities
    The Arsenal Committee will, upon request, provide equipment-related or technical information to command personnel or a Bureau of Patrol supervisor having questions following an actual field deployment of a Taser device.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were revised.)
John J. Escalante
Interim Superintendent of Police
15-202 CAW