Is Random Drug Testing for Public Safety Workers Required

With the Providence, Rhode Island Police Department hit by a drug scandal in its ranks, state Rep. Roberto DaSilva, a Pawtucket Police lieutenant, stated he would like all public safety personnel to undergo random drug tests annually.


According to The Call, the East Providence representative notes he wants to bring together the labor unions representing police, firefighters, rescue workers and correctional officers to fashion a system that is “fair to the employees and protects the public.”


The Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union stated it will oppose the bill that DaSilva is likely to introduce.


The Fraternal Order of Police lodge representing Providence Police officers rejected Providence Mayor David Cicilline’s request for all police officers in the city to undergo random drug tests. The mayor has since backed off from his demand.


According to comments DaSilva made to The Call, “every officer I have talked to, from the highest-ranking officer to the lowest-ranking officer, people from other departments, have given me a positive response.


“In fact,” DaSilva noted in a written statement, “they said they would welcome it to prove to members of their communities that they are beyond reproach.”


“If you have nothing to hide,” DaSilva commented, “then you should have no problem with this.”

According to DaSilva, the idea behind the random drug tests is to use it as a tool to get an officer who is having trouble with illegal drug use or abuse of controlled substances the assistance he or she needs.


One of the officers involved in the Providence scandal allegedly provided information about police activities to his brother, an alleged cocaine dealer. (workersxzcompxzkit)

At the present time, police officers and firefighters are required to submit to drug testing only when they are first hired, according to DaSilva.

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