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Electronic Control Devices

When properly applied in accordance with this policy, the Electronic Control Device (ECD) is considered a nondeadly control device which is intended to control a violent or potentially violent individual without causing serious injury. It is anticipated that the appropriate use of such a device will result in fewer serious injuries to officers and suspects. These are the guidelines for the deployment and use of an ECD by officers of the UCLA Police Department. All sworn personnel must comply with the requirements of this policy. The decision to use force shall be reviewed in light of information reasonably available to the officer(s) at the time the decision is made. The intent is for officers to deploy and use the ECD to maximize the safety of all individuals involved in an incident.

309.1.1 POLICY
The use of the ECD is intended solely as a control device to minimize injuries to officers, subjects and the public. The ECD’s purpose is to enable the officers to carry out his/her duties in a safe, efficient and professional manner.

(a) When the ECD is carried as a part of a uniformed officer’s equipment, the ECD shall be carried on the side opposite from the duty weapon.
(b) All ECDs shall be clearly and distinctly marked to differentiate them from the duty weapon and any other device.
(c) Whenever practical, officers should carry a total of two or more ECD cartridges on his/her person at all times while carrying an ECD.
(d) Officers shall be responsible for ensuring that his/her issued ECD is properly maintained and in good working order at all times.
(e) Officers should never hold both a firearm and the ECD at the same time unless lethal force is warranted.

As with any law enforcement equipment, the ECD has limitations and restrictions requiring consideration before its use. The ECD should only be used when its operator can safely approach the subject within the operational range of the ECD. Although the ECD rarely fails and is generally effective in subduing most individuals, officers should be aware of this potential and be prepared with other options in the unlikely event of such a failure. The ECD is a nondeadly device that can be deployed in two different modes, as defined in Policy Manual § 309.2.1: probe and/or drive stun. Either or both modes may be used on a particular subject or against a perceived threat (e.g., animal). Officers shall only use ECDs and cartridges that have been issued by the Department. The ECD, in probe deployment mode, provides a force option which allows officers to maintain a physical separation from subjects or perceived threats in order to reduce the possibility of a primary injury (e.g., stab wound) or secondary injury (e.g., back sprain) to an officer as well as to reduce the possibility of injury to the subject or perceived threat. The ECD, in drive stun mode, provides a force option when the officer and subject are in close contact. Using ECDs in either mode may reduce the need for other types of force by the officers which could foreseeably result in potentially more serious or deadly injuries to the subject, officers or the public.


Active Aggression A threat or overt act of an assault (through physical or verbal means), coupled with the present ability to carry out the threat or assault, which reasonably indicates that an assault or injury to a person is imminent.

Actively Resisting Evasive physical movements to defeat an officer’s attempt at control, including bracing, tensing, pushing or verbally signaling an intention to avoid or prevent being taken into or retained in custody.

AFID AntiFelon Identification System, which provides accountability for each use of the ECD device via the dispersal of tiny unique coded tags every time the device is probe deployed, i.e., when a cartridge is discharged.

Cartridge Refers to an ECD cartridge, which contains probes.

ECD The electronic control device (ECD) is a nondeadly handheld device that discharges an electronic current to override a subject’s central nervous system causing temporary incapacitation (probe mode) or discomfort (drive stun mode).

ECD Modes:

(a) Probe deployment or probe mode Two darts on wires are propelled from a cartridge to contact a subject’s body. The ECD sends an electrical signal to the probes via wires, which can disrupt the subject’s body’s ability to communicate messages from the brain to the muscles and likely (depending upon many factors, including the distance between the probes, probe placement, the thickness of clothing on the subject, etc.) usually disrupts motorskill function.
(b) Drive stun mode The ECD is brought into immediate contact with the subject’s body or clothing. Drive stun creates discomfort in the immediate area around the point of contact due to the narrow spread of the ECD probes. Drive stun application will likely not cause motor skill dysfunction.

ECD Use:

(a) ECD displayed The ECD is withdrawn from the holster and is visible to the subject. The subject complies or the incident concludes without actual use of the ECD.
(b) ECD laser pointed The ECD’s laser targeting mechanism is activated and pointed in the direction of the subject. In response to the subject’s observation of the laser pointing, the subject complies or the incident concludes without further use of the ECD.
(c) ECD demonstrated The ECD is withdrawn from the holster, the cartridge is removed and the electrical arcing is demonstrated to the subject to attempt to gain voluntary compliance.
(d) ECD deployed The ECD probes contact the subject’s body or clothing and/or a drive stun is used to attempt to gain compliance.



Passive ResistancePhysical actions that do not prevent the officer’s attempt to control a subject. For example, a subject who remains in a sitting, standing, limp or prone position with no physical contact (e.g. locked arms) with other individuals. A subject in handcuffs meets the definition of passive resistance if: (a) the subject is in a sitting, standing or prone position as directed by the officer and is not engaged in any motion intended to injure, resist or remove the handcuffs; or (b) the subject is walking accompanied by and following the directions of an officer. A subject who, while sitting or standing, has locked arms with another subject is not engaged in passive resistance but is engaged in proactive action to obstruct. A subject who has previously engaged in passive resistance but who subsequently engages in behavior such as flailing, kicking, elbowing, headbutting, biting, shoving, jerking, pulling away, twisting or other action that an officer interprets as a threat or actual act of active resistance is no longer considered to be engaging in passive resistance.

Sensitive Areas Areas of a subject’s body such as the head (face, side, back), neck, groin, genitalia or female’s breast.

Officers that have successfully completed a Departmentally approved training course shall be authorized to use the ECD. Officers shall qualify regularly as dictated by the Training Staff.

The only ECD authorized by the Department for officers to carry and use is the X26 TASER, manufactured by TASER International, Inc. Officers assigned an ECD are responsible for maintaining the device’s operational readiness. No changes, alterations, modifications or substitutions shall be made to the ECD or the cartridges. Upon obtaining an ECD from a supervisor for use during an assignment, officers shall:

(a) Officers must visibly inspect the ECD and the cartridges for noticeable wear or damage. This includes checking the expiration date and condition of the ECD cartridges. Expired and/or damaged cartridges shall be turned into a supervisor for replacement.

1. Officers will note the ECD inspection in the ECD log. Documentation may beas brief as "ECD checked OK" or checking a box confirming the inspection was completed.

(b) Check the ECD’s battery strength to ensure adequate battery charge.

1. Officers shall ensure that the cartridge has been removed, prior to checking battery strength or changing the batteries in the unit.
2. Officers shall test battery strength by sparking an unloaded ECD before going in service. In the event that the unit’s battery strength is not adequate (20% or less), officers shall exchange the unit for another with adequate battery strength. Spark tests should be conducted with the ECD pointed in a safe direction with no apparent persons down range.
3. The cartridge is then obtained from the storage area by the supervisor and the officer attaches it to the ECD.

(c) Store the ECD and extra cartridges in the issued holster or case when not in use. When the ECD is checked back in at the end of a shift, the cartridge in the ECD is removed first, the cartridge is turned in to a supervisor and the supervisor stores it separately from the ECD.
(d) Ensure that the ECD is accessible by keeping it concealed in a secured vehicle during the course of a shift or carrying the device on the officer’s person. ECD holsters shall only be worn on the opposite side of the officer’s handgun.

1. Officers issued an ECD shall keep at least two extra cartridges with the device.
2. Extra cartridges should not be carried in pockets to avoid the risk that static electricity could cause an unintentional discharge of the cartridge.

The ECD is a highly sophisticated piece of electronic equipment that operates with batteries. Therefore, officers shall reasonably protect the ECDs and the cartridges from:

(a) Water, rain, etc.
(b) Unreasonable exposure to dust, dirt, mud, etc.
(c) Unreasonable risk of theft (i.e., avoid storing an ECD in a vehicle where it could be stolen).
(d) Unreasonable exposure to inclement storage conditions (i.e., leaving an ECD in a vehicle parking in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, during high temperatures).
(e) Unreasonable accessibility to people other than members of the Department.

Any deployment and/or use of an ECD must be consistent with Department training, applicable policies and legal standards. Officers shall not use ECDs when such use would violate Department training, applicable policies and legal standards. Officers’ decisions to deploy ECDs are dependent upon the officers reasonably believed actions of the subjects and/or real or perceived threats facing the officers, coupled with the totality of the circumstances surrounding the incident. ECDs are nondeadly control devices. However, ECDs, just like any control device or technique, can foreseeably create physical and/or muscle stress and/or exertion or other unexpected, unforeseen or unanticipated primary (directly caused by the ECD) and/or secondary (as a result of the ECD use, but not directly caused by the ECD discharge) injuries. ECDs should only be used against persons who are actively resisting or exhibiting active aggression or to prevent individuals from harming himself/herself or others. The use of an ECD is not allowed on subjects engaged in passive resistance. The ECD may be used in the following circumstances:

(a) In cases in which force is objectively reasonable to prevent the reasonably foreseeable threat or actual attempted assault, battery and/or injury (both primary e.g., stab wound; and secondary e.g., muscle sprain or other skeletal injury) to officers, other persons and/or the subject.
(b) In cases where officer versus subject factors reasonably indicate that the officers, subject and/or other persons are likely to be endangered by the actions of the subject; recognizing that deployments against persons may be very dynamic in nature.
(c) During Department authorized training programs and/or demonstrations.

Under the following conditions, the risks of foreseeable direct or secondary injuries are potentially increased and the officer(s) using the ECD should take these factors into consideration. The officer(s) must carefully evaluate the following elevated risk factors:

(a) Presence of flammable liquids/fumes and/or explosive environments including persons who have been sprayed with pepper spray or are in close proximity to a combustible material
(b) Elevated positions (e.g., on rooftops, balconies or in trees)
(c) Subjects operating moving vehicles and/or machinery
(d) Subject running (fleeing) where a fall could cause injury
(e) Pregnancy
(f) Persons in or near a swimming pool or other body of water
(g) Frail or infirm individuals such as elderly or children
(h) Persons with visible or verifiable health problems
(i) Intentional ECD application to sensitive areas of the body, as defined in the training program
(j) Repeated ECD applications (e.g., persons who have received multiple discharges from an ECD)
(k) Subjects that are handcuffed or otherwise restrained and not engaged in active resistance or active aggression

These elevated risk factors can only be given consideration when the factors are reasonably perceived by the officer(s). In each of the above conditions, the totality of the circumstances may indicate that the subject may still receive an application of an ECD.

309.3.2 SOCIETAL PERCEPTIONSThe general public commonly assumes that certain groups of individuals are not capable of being an imminent threat of death and/or serious bodily injury, or that officers should treat members of these groups with more sensitivity and compassion. However, members of these groups can and do in fact commit violent crimes and can pose an imminent threat to officers, others and himself/herself. The Department recognizes that using an ECD on one of these individuals will typically result in heightened public scrutiny. These groups include:

(a) Children
(b) Seniors
(c) Restrained subjects



Where the totality of reasonably perceived (to the officers) circumstances reasonably permits officers to give a warning of the imminent application of ECDs in an attempt to cause the subject to comply with officers’ lawful orders, officers should give the subject,when feasible: (a) a warning; and (b) an opportunity to comply. However, if officers reasonably believe that the giving of such warning may escalate the risk and/or danger of the incident or diminish the officers’ or others’ safety, then the officers are not required to give a warning. It is foreseeable that officers’ announcements of imminent ECD employment may cause the subject to attack the officers, flee, inflict selfinjury, attempt to injure others, etc. In an attempt to minimize the number of ECD discharges needed for subject compliance, officers should, while deploying the ECD, reasonably direct the suspect as the incident mandates. Such verbal commands may include, "stop resisting," lie flat," "put your hands behind your back," etc.

The ECD deploying officers may reasonably notify any onscene, assisting officers that he/she intends to deploy an ECD. Prior to deploying ECDs the deploying officers should consider announcing, if reasonably safe and tactically feasible, "TASER! TASER! TASER!" The announcement should be made only if it would not reasonably further endanger any officers, other persons or the subject.

Officers may use an ECD in the probe mode when circumstances known to the officer at the time indicate that the application of the ECD in probe mode is reasonable to subdue or control the following:

(a) A violent or physically resisting subject, or
(b) A potentially violent or physically resisting subject if:

1. The subject has verbally or physically demonstrated an intention to resist; and
2. The officer has given the subject a verbal warning of the intended use of the ECD followed by a reasonable opportunity to voluntarily comply; and
3. Other available options reasonably appear ineffective or would present a greater danger to the officer, the subject or others

(c) A dangerous animal

While manufacturers have generally recommended that reasonable efforts should be made to target lower center mass and avoid intentionally targeting the head, neck, chest and groin, it is recognized that the dynamics of each situation and officer safety may not permit the officer to limit the application of the ECD darts to a precise target area. As such, officers should take prompt and ongoing care to monitor the condition of the subject if one or more darts strikes the head, neck, chest or groin. Persons suspected of being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or who exhibit extreme agitation, violent irrational behavior accompanied by profuse sweating, extraordinary strength beyond physical characteristics, unusually high tolerance to pain (sometimes called excited delirium) or who require a protracted physical encounter with multiple officers to bring under control may be at an increased risk of sudden death and should be examined by qualified medical personnel as soon as practicable. Any individual exhibiting signs of distress after such an encounter shall be medically cleared prior to booking. The ECD shall not be used to torture, psychologically torment, elicit statements or inflict undue pain on any individual.

The use of an ECD in drive stun mode will not reliably or foreseeably incapacitate the subject. Officers will not use ECDs in drive stun mode if he/she reasonably believes that discomfort will not cause the subject to be compliant with the officers. Because the application of the ECD in the Drive Stun mode (i.e. direct contact without darts) relies primarily on pain compliance and requires close proximity to the subject, additional caution should be exercised and the controlling effects may be limited. Officers may use an ECD in a drive stun capacity, as a pain compliance technique in the following situations:

(a) To eliminate active aggression or active resistance from an arrestee in accomplishing an arrest or physical search
(b) To stop a dangerous animal

An ECD may be used against any combative, assaultive, foreseeably violent individuals detained or in custody as provided for under this policy.

When an officer determines that the ECD should be utilized, the deployment of the ECD must be consistent with Department training.

If, after an initial application of the ECD, an officer is still unable to gain compliance from a subject and circumstances allow, the officer should consider whether or not the ECD device is making proper contact, the use of the ECD is limiting the ability of the individual to comply or if other options and tactics should be considered. However, this shall not preclude any officer from multiple, reasonable applications of the ECD on a subject. If the subject of an ECD application continues fighting, resisting, threatening or continues to resist officers’ actions, the officers may reapply and again discharge the ECD. Note that application of the ECD causes physical exertion. And, each successive ECD application/discharge will likely continue to cause physical exertion. If officers discharge an ECD several times, the officers need to be aware of, and monitor, the subject’s condition for signs of physical distress.

The ECD shall not be used in the following manner:

(a) Punitively or to torture an individual.
(b) In drive stun mode as a prod or escort device, except under exigent circumstances and not merely to inflict undue pain, injury or psychological trauma.(c) To rouse unconscious, impaired or intoxicated individuals.
(d) To elicit statements.
(e) To experiment on a person or allow a person to experience the ECD, even if the person requests it when the use of the ECD would not otherwise be allowed by this policy. This prohibition does not apply to voluntary ECD training exposures authorized by the Department and conducted under the supervision of a training instructor.
(f) For horse play or in an unprofessional manner.

Other factors to consider before deploying the use of an ECD are:

(a) Deadly Force Officers are not required to use an ECD in deadly force situations. If an officer chooses to deploy an ECD in a deadly force situation, it should be backed up with the immediate availability of deadly force.

(b) Recognition of ECD versus Handgun Prior to the deployment of an ECD the officers have the responsibility to visually and physically confirm that the use of force tool selected is in fact an ECD and not a firearm.

Using an ECD against animals may reduce the need for greater, more injurious force against such animals. The use of an ECD on an animal should be based on the intent to provide a safer, more humane and less traumatic conclusion to the incident. An ECD may be deployed on an animal when:

(a) The animal is threatening or is attacking a person, including officers, another animal or property.
(b) The animal has threatened or attacked a person, including officers, another animal or has caused a continuing public nuisance and the animal needs to be captured for reason of public peace or safety, preservation of property or other legitimate purpose; and the animal poses an active threat to officers in his/her efforts to perform his/her duty. Center mass of the animal should be targeted. Care should be taken to avoid the head and other sensitive areas of the animal. It is understood that deployments against animals may be very dynamic in nature and probes may impact unintended areas. Procedures for probe removal should take place as outlined in this policy. Personnel will take reasonable measures to consider that the animal’s welfare is provided for, in the event that the probes impact a sensitive area or it appears the animal’s health is in jeopardy. It is generally understood that as long as officers acted reasonably, the animal’s owner will be responsible for any medical attention needed for the animal.

In the event of an accidental ECD cartridge discharge, the officer shall promptly notify his/her supervisor. The supervisor shall reasonably investigate the incident and prepare a written memo documenting the incident. Alternatively, the supervisor may have the officer prepare a written report and then the supervisor shall make appropriate notifications and/or take other appropriate actions.

Any use or attempted use of an ECD against a subject shall be immediately reported to the Watch Commander or a patrol supervisor. A supervisor will respond to the scene of an ECD use. A supervisor shall review with the officers involved the circumstances under which the ECD was used.

When an ECD is discharged, officers shall:

(a) Restrain and secure the subject, as soon as possible.
(b) Arrange for the removal of the probes, in accordance with this policy. Probe removal will be a high priority when the probes are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals.
(c) All persons who have been struck by ECD darts or who have been subjected to the electric discharge of the device shall be medically assessed prior to booking.
(d) Ensure the subject’s injuries or complaints of injury (if any) are appropriately treated by medical personnel.

1. If officers reasonably believe that the subject is in need of medical treatment the officers shall make reasonable efforts to obtain such treatment.
2. If needed and appropriate, medical personnel (i.e., EMS1 and/or LAFD) shall be summoned to the scene to assess the ECD subject. If the exam or other circumstances dictate the subject needs further medical treatment the subject shall be transported by reasonable means to a suitable medical facility.
3. Persons suspected of being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or who exhibit extreme agitation, violent irrational behavior accompanied by profuse sweating, extraordinary strength beyond physical characteristics, unusually high tolerance to pain (sometimes called excited delirium) or who require a protracted physical encounter with multiple officers to bring under control may be at an increased risk of sudden death and should be examined by qualified medical personnel as soon as practicable. Any individual exhibiting signs of distress after such an encounter shall be medically cleared prior to booking.
4. Medical treatment will not be refused for anyone who requests it.
5. If emergency medical care or transport is not reasonably available, or if the perceived response delay appears excessive, then the subject may be transported by the officers for medical evaluation. During transport the officers shall reasonably monitor the subject’s observable physical condition.

(e) If any individual refuses medical attention, such a refusal should be witnessed by another officer and/or medical personnel and shall be fully documented in related reports. If an audio recording is made of the contact or an interview with the individual, any refusal should be included if possible.
(f) The transporting officer shall inform any person receiving custody or any person placed in a position of providing medical care that the individual has been subjected to the application of the ECD.
(g) Not leave an ECD unattended except in exigent circumstances such as when an officer is forced to act alone in taking custody of a subject reasonably posing an imminent threat.
(h) Secure the scene, if applicable.
(i) Comply with the reporting procedures/supervisor’s responsibilities specified in the Policy Manual § 300.4 Reporting Use of Force.
(j) Ensure that any discharged cartridges, probes and a sampling of AFID (AntiFelon Identification) microdots that are discharged with the probes are collected and booked as evidence. Probes are to be handled and booked as biohazardous sharps.
(k) Ensure that the serial number of the ECD and cartridge(s) used are documented in the appropriate report(s).
(l) Ensure that photographs are taken of:

(1) probe impact sites, and
(2) any other injuries to preserve evidence of the use of the ECD, except that photographs should not be taken if the probes impacted particular areas of the suspect’s body such as genitals or female breasts.

Any discharge of an ECD on-duty or off-duty shall be immediately reported to the Watch Commander. The circumstances surrounding the discharge of an ECD shall be documented and forwarded to the Field Operations Captain.

Removal of probes in nonsensitive areas may be done by officers according to proberemoval training. Officers should inspect the probe(s) upon removal to ensure that the entire probe and probe barbs have been removed. If a subject requests that a probe be removed by medical personnel, then the officer(s) shall arrange for medical personnel to remove the probe(s).

(a) Sensitive Areas/Imbedded Probes: Probes that are located in sensitive areas of the body, such as the breasts, genitals, eyes, face and mouth, throat and neck and the exterior of the ear, or are embedded or broken off in a subject’s skin, shall be removed by appropriate medical personnel.
(b) Evidence: Deployed probes that have had contact with the skin shall be treated as a biohazard. All expended probes shall be collected from the scene by the officer. The probes shall be placed point down in the appropriate expended cartridge container(s), packaged in a proper container and placed into evidence. When handling the expended probe(s)/cartridge(s), officers shall wear protective gloves. When there is no indication of an injury, the probe(s) shall be collected but do not need to be maintained as evidence. In such instances, the probe(s) may be disposed in the appropriate manner unless there is a use of force incident being documented.

Officers should avoid transporting in a face down position any subject who has been controlled by the use of an ECD. If the probes are still embedded in the subject, officers should avoid transporting the subject in a position that would foreseeably further embed the probes in the subject.

The Watch Commander or patrol supervisor shall monitor the use ECDs in the same manner as all other use of force incidents.

(a) The Watch Commander or immediate supervisor may authorize the use of an ECD provided the officers authorized have the required training. The officer should broadcast on the radio if an ECD is deployed.
(b) The Watch Commander or immediate supervisor shall review each use of ECDs by any personnel within his/her command.
(c) The Watch Commander or immediate supervisor shall ensure briefing training on the use of ECDs is provided as needed.

The Rangemaster is the primary person responsible for maintaining and caring for the ECDs. The Rangemaster may delegate responsibilities among range staff, but is ultimately responsible for the completion of these duties. The Rangemaster shall:

(a) Upon ECD discharge notification as outlined in Policy Manual § 309.7.3 below, download the discharge memory of the involved ECD.
(b) Log and track ECDs and cartridges.
(c) Conduct inspections of ECDs.
(d) Order and maintain adequate cartridges and supplies.

The Rangemaster shall control the inventory of ECDs. All damaged, inoperative and/or expended ECDs shall be returned to the Rangemaster or the range staff for disposition, repair or replacement. The Rangemaster shall be the custodian of ECD records and the person responsible for collecting and maintaining all ECD records. In the event that an ECD is returned for repairs or is no longer utilized for Department use, the use history of that particular ECD will be downloaded using the data port access and appropriate software. The use history will be maintained by the Department for a period of six years from the date the ECD was taken out of service.

All normal maintenance, charging or cleaning shall remain the responsibility of personnel using the ECDs. All repairs to ECDs or accessories shall be completed by a Department authorized armorer or vendor. ECD repairs shall be documented and the records shall be maintained by the Rangemaster.

Officers who are issued an ECD and cartridges are solely responsible for reporting to his/her supervisor promptly after learning that the ECD and/or the cartridges are damaged and/or in need of maintenance and/or repair. The supervisor will forward the damaged ECD/cartridge to the Rangemaster and provide replacements to the officer.

ECD use histories will be run on each ECD as necessary. Mandatory ECD use history reports include:

(a) Following claims of excessive force by ECD application
(b) Hospitalization of the ECD subject following ECD application
(c) A death associated with ECD usage
(d) Claims of excessive numbers of ECD discharges

In addition to other Department use of force and/or reporting requirements, all written reports associated with the ECD incident shall include:

(a) What precipitated the use of the ECD (include specific subject behaviors and statements).
(b) To what extent was the ECD utilized.
(c) What were the known results of the usage.
(d) The name and rank of the responding and reviewing supervisor.
(e) If medical personnel were involved with the subject, the names and affiliation of the responding medical personnel.

In addition to the initial Department approved training required to carry and use a ECD, personnel shall be recertified by a Department approved ECD instructor during a reassessment of an officer’s knowledge and/or practical skill may be required at any time if deemed appropriate by the Personnel and Training Sergeant. The Personnel and Training Sergeant should ensure that all training includes the following:

(a) A review of this policy.
(b) A review of the Policy Manual § 300 Use of Force.
(c) Target area considerations, to include techniques or options to reduce the intentional application of probes near the head, neck, chest and groin.
(d) Deescalation techniques.



UCLA Police Department
Phone: (310) 825-1491
Fax: (310) 206-2550
Mail Code: 136408


601 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1364

Business Hours

Monday – Friday 8 a. m. to 5 p. m.

Station Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week