Prior to searching him, ask your arrestee if he has “anything that could poke, cut, stab, or hurt” you.
PRO TIP: Search his rear waistband as soon as he has been handcuffed as this is where criminals hide contraband and weapons—you are putting his hands close to his stash where he can access it after being handcuffed, and he knows it!
Offer to retrieve any contraband—at least give him a chance to lie to you.
Bandage up any small cuts you may have on your hands or otherwise wear rubber gloves (using your regular duty gloves desensitize your sense of touch and are germ collectors unless they are properly and frequently washed!).
Retain elbow control if he is standing and be systematic and thorough—don’t get distracted, especially by his friends running interference to prevent to from finding contraband to aid his escape.
If he is unrestrained, direct his arms to a low, unloaded position (nor with arms raised on top of his head!).
PRO TIP: Don’t fall for homo insults – search his crotch!
Arrestees who take offense to being touched or say that they cannot move parts of their bodies as to impede a proper search is a strong indicator that contraband or weapons may be secreted on him.
Do gender-on-gender searches only, however cursory searches of non-private parts are OK by using the back of your hand (have a witness present if possible).
Ensure privacy when doing (same-gender) skin searches.
For group cursory searches, have the detainees grab a piece of the wall so that their hands can be collectively monitored by the cover officer(s) until it is their turn to be individually searched.
PRO TIP: Be sure to hold onto them after putting them in a balance-compromised standing position (elbows are good holding spots) in order to deter resistance.
Search prone handcuffed arrestees by rolling them from side to side (do not do a standing straddle an arrestee lest your leg gets hurt if he pitches violently against it).
Do not squeeze his clothing or recklessly jam your hand into his pockets for fear of being cut or poked with needles, razor blades, knives, and such.
Instead, gently pat his body down in a complete, systematic, and thorough manner (wearing gloves is optional, bearing in mind the touch/feeling limitations of wearing heavy gloves).