Should police have to submit to routine drug and alcohol testing
Previously published on March 14, 2008
Drug use in America is a serious issue as the effects of the drug culture are violence, murder, and other crimes while drug abuse leads to a lack of positive social involvement, the corruption of youth, heath issues, the destruction of lives, and a social disaster. It is the duty of police officers to help stem the abuse of drugs and the distribution of illegal substances.
There are, however, times when police officers are the ones abusing illegal substances. Although such incidences may not be at epidemic levels across the Nation, a single case can undermine the authority, dignity, and effectiveness of an entire police force while leading citizens to distrust public officials. As such, it becomes imperative that members of the police force undergo random drug testing on a frequent basis no matter what their rank or position is.
There are cases where undercover police officers may be forced to engage in drug use as part of the operations they are involved in; furthermore, the stress of being a cop is often unbearable, which can lead to alcohol abuse then drug abuse. Although regulations exist to help address parts of these concerns, the family-like culture that exists in organizations, like a police department, can cause lapses in such procedure.
As the consequences of drug abuse are great, especially for those in public service, those police officers who abuse drugs are pressured not to seek help while their brother officers may be reluctant to report the abuse. Truly random drug testing is one means of ensuring those who might slip through the cracks receive help before their habit turns into a life altering addiction. Above all, testing police officers for drug use needs to be done for their health and the benefit of their department.
Furthermore, random drug testing should probably be conducted on all public officials as it would send a clear message that government is serious about dealing with the Nation's drug problems while it is willing to demonstrate no one is above the Law. There are cultures within government that prevent drug and alcohol abuse from coming to light with exception to huge public disasters that undermine the integrity of government on all levels.
Moreover, Americans lack trust in their government and transparency is one means of rekindling that trust. Above all, police officers among other government officials need to submit to random drug testing to help instill trust in the government.