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Police Drug Test Wish Mystifying

Press Release - Candor Trust
Police Drug Test Wish Mystifying

Road Safety Groups have come out in support of Police's suggestion they drug test their Officers, with some reservations. 'This could be opening a can of worms. It's commendable they would subject their Officers to higher standards than other drivers, who now evade drug testing' commented the Candor Trust Co-ordinator.

'But they do need to have adequate support mechanisms and Employee assistance for the resolution of problems - if at all possible. Actually we're a tad mystified as to what's behind this"

The Director of Akilla Sleep Safety said that those in shift work and occupations in which long hours may be foist on people, such as Policing, could well succumb to abuse of stimulants, like methamphetamine. And that P was shown in recent studies to often contribute to drowsy type crashes for sleep deprived victims during the "comedown".

New Mexico Police have been drug testing Officers annually and randomly for 4 years. Only 2 tests positive tests were returned in this State which has a smaller population than ours. An Officer involved in a minor car prang who tested positive for the stimulant cocaine was sacked earlier this month. The Officer who had earlier tested positive - for marijuana - was also "let go".

'The Police are right to consider testing, given how rampant drug abuse is in NZ society, but they may find a much higher level problem than in the U.S.' according to Ms Ford. 'We hope their response to something often falling in the realm of illness, as much as wilful misconduct, is not to reflexively dismiss staff testing positive though'.

Jenkins and Ford both say they're bowled over by Police taking the initiative to test their own for drug abuse, before implementing desperately needed road side testing programs.

'Well, who'd imagine they'd consider this, while failing to support recent calls to impose mandatory testing upon safety sensitive occupations, which are actually having difficulties, such as school bus driving' People in that industry have reported to us that they're concerned about drugs, fatigue and the combination .

The real issue behind this may be that the cops are constantly baited into car chases by people on P and they're dangerous whether left alone or chased, said Mr Jenkins of the Drowsy Driving is Akilla Campaign.

"If they show the public they are happy to be tested themselves in the interest of public safety, they're maybe hoping the Public will come to the party and co-operate if the possibility of broader driver testing is put on the table"

'You really would think they'd want to get their house in order as regards the low level of enforcement of drug impaired driving laws on the street. Police of deliberately turning a blind eye to one or 2 drug driving vehicular killings every week', said Ms Ford.

She says the drug abusers behind over a quarter of the road toll usually get away with murder. 'That's correct, culprits are not tested much and even when they are holding a P pipe in their hand, and driving dangerously like madmen they wriggle out of DUI charges. Such a case occurred on the Kapiti Coast earlier on this year and was thown out on technicalities'.

Those who kill as a result of driving on drugs normally only face careless driving charges. The result of that is often referral to a driving refresher course. Addicts have gone on to kill subsequent to such nonsensical sentences.

'So this is why the Candor Trust members are just a little perplexed as to why Police think it's the cops that need testing first. If so, if that's the priority we really do have bigger problems than we'd even realised'.

ENDS

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