COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith has ordered that random testing for dangerous drugs be conducted on both regular police and SRPs.
He has further instructed that the first officer to submit to a random drug test as well as a polygraph test be none other that the commissioner himself.
The instruction from the top cop is in accordance with Section 93 (3) of the Police Service Regulations, 2007 which states: “The Commissioner shall have the power to order random drug testing for abuse of dangerous drugs by any officer.”
Where random testing is done, any officer found to be under the influence of any Dangerous Drugs whilst on duty, will be disciplined. Section 150 (1) of the regulations states, “an officer who contravenes any of these Regulations commits a disciplinary offence… and is liable to be charged with a disciplinary offence, if he commits any of the following:
Drunkenness or drug taking, that is to say, if an officer while on or required for duty, is unfit for duty through the taking of intoxicating liquor or dangerous drugs; drinking on duty or soliciting drink.
That is to say, if an officer drinks intoxicating liquor while on duty; or demands, or endeavours to persuade any other person to give him, or to purchase or obtain for him, any intoxicating liquor while he is on duty; reports for duty under the influence of intoxicating liquor or with the odour of intoxicating liquor on his breath.”
A release from the TTPS yesterday said that this approach is aimed at minimizing the possibility of officers being addicted to illegal drugs, which can hamper their performance and also to ensure that officers do not commit actions which will cause them to be involved in any type of criminal activity.
All officers, the release said, were notified that random testing across the TTPS, will begin in two months’ time and will continue indefinitely. This comes on the heels of a polygraph test introduced recently in Police South-Western Division. Griffith has asked to be the first officer to be polygraphed and drug tested.