Cops and Random Drug Testing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An informative piece in regards to random drug testing of law enforcement officers.

Submitted: October 15, 2008

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Submitted: October 15, 2008

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To say that I was appalled when I discovered some law enforcement agencies in the United States do not require routine alcohol and drug testing would be a major understatement. How, with all of the irrational sensibility being exercised, has America been able to sustain for over two hundred years? More logic is used by a three-ring circus coordinator than by our ever so elite group of men and women of which our government is comprised. Who are the people that deem it necessary to routinely drug test professional athletes but not necessary to routinely drug test law enforcement personnel? Do these people have college degrees? Or, better, do they have any common sense?

Unless I am missing some crucial pieces to this puzzle, I find this to be more than slightly backward. Professional athletes, being used here for comparison purposes only, are trained for physical competition, whereas law enforcement officers are trained to restore order in a community, to respond quickly and effectively to emergency situations, and to prevent crime, to name only a few. We unsafely assume these tasks are being carried out by the finest and most capable citizens of our communities.

In a critical situation, the alertness of the individual(s) responding is of major importance. A lethargic officer is not one who can "get the job done". Neither is the overly anxious officer. A sharp, active, rational and clear mind is the key to a positive outcome, no matter what the situation.

Aside from the reasons listed above, let's consider the fact these highly trained professionals are full time carriers of weapons, mainly handguns. To some, handguns are considered a deadly weapon; others view them as a means of self defense. Either way, the operator of a handgun should be in total control at all times with a matching mentality.

At this time, I would like to introduce the truck driving industry. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 Parts 40 and 382, most drivers of commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate and intrastate transportation are subject to drug and alcohol testing. Employers are required to have a program in place to ensure that all drivers who are required to possess a CDL (commercial drivers license), and who operate a commercial vehicle, are tested for drug and alcohol use. Of course, this federal regulation makes absolute sense, considering it reduces the number of accidents resulting from a driver's use of illegal substances.

Why is it we don't hold accountable those who are subject to be behind the wheel of a vehicle, which at any given time could be involved in a high speed chase down our city streets? Is it because we "unsafely" assume every single police officer is drug and/or alcohol free? Contrary to popular belief, police officers are just as likely to be alcoholics and/or drug addicts as the rest of the population. Diseases of any kind are not discriminatory when it comes to careers.

It is the responsibility of law enforcement officers to apprehend and jail all persons who are in possession of illegal drugs, whether the person is found in a public place or at their home. The same laws should be applicable to those who enforce them. By not requiring mandatory drug testing, we basically allow them to partake in illicit drug use. To exempt the upholders of law from laws is not sensible.

I, as a concerned citizen, am not going to accept this as part of the system under which we are controlled. I urge all people who agree that police officers nationwide should be randomly and routinely tested for drugs and alcohol use to contact the proper state and federal officials and make known your stance. Multiple ways are in place for contacting them, including but not limited to, hand written letters sent via postal mail service, telephone calls, and emails. Out of these three methods, the most effective are hand written letters. Making others aware of this issue is also a highly effective means of reform; the more voices which speak out, the more voices can be heard.


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