What does your agency do when fluid from a syringe needs to be submitted to DPS lab? Since, DPS will not accept syringes to be tested, is the fluid being emptied? Who empties it? What kind of packaging do you use? Do you have a policy on it? Do you give the person doing the empting any special training or equipment?
Our Forensic people empty the syringe into a vial. They have been trained and have safety equipment.
Our agency requires that the officer remove the liquid from the syringe and place the liquid in a vial that has been approved by DPS, we then send the vial in for testing. We do have a policy on it and I will work with my Supervisor to get it too you. There are directions on how to perform the transfer on our wall and the safety equipment is there for them to use.
Avondale requires the officer to decant the liquid into a vial before it will be transported to the lab. We require the vial to be submitted in a separate envelope with a different item number. If they submit the syringe with contents, they are required to return and sign the package out for proper (per policy) packaging. Officers receive some training on handling sharps and searches.
We also purchase small, glass vials, which are made available in our Bag and Tag room. Officers are required to empty the contents of the syringe into the vial and submit two separate items. Gloves and a face shield are required safety items.
Drugs in syringes seem to always cause issues – Typically here in Tempe they only charge them with a paraphernalia charge when drugs are contained in a syringe and are rarely tested. Having said that, on very extreme circumstances, our Narcotic Detectives will transfer the liquid to a glass vile and we then forward the vile to DPS for testing. Only a select few Narcotic Detectives are trained to do this. We do have a policy for this.