Police Union Thinks Cops Should Receive Less Scrutiny Than Retail Workers

from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-arbitration! dept

Police unions are working tirelessly towards destroying any remaining shreds of respectability. Presumably, they once served a purpose roughly aligned with the public good. Now, they serve the singular purpose of ensuring our nation's law enforcement agencies will always be forced to keep the abusive, incompetent officers on their payroll.

No entity has spoken out more frequently about the supposed damage body-worn cameras will do. Meanwhile, many officers appear to have made peace with the new technology, much as they had with dash cams. No entity has continued to voice its resistance to anything approaching accountability as vociferously as our nation's police unions. If you want to see what's wrong with today's policing and why it won't be changing anytime soon, all you have to do is spend a few minutes talking to a union rep.

Out in Pittsburgh, the local police union wants cops to be held to a lower standard than retail employees.

The union representing Pittsburgh police officers has filed a civil rights grievance against the city, claiming officers have been ordered to undergo drug and alcohol testing that is in violation of their contract.

The union tells Channel 11’s Rick Earle that the testing amounts to an illegal search and seizure that is not only in violation of the contract, but the Constitution as well.
Perhaps the union will be surprised to know that these supposed "Constitutional violations" occur daily at nearly every major employer. They are required before applicants are hired and random checks are often performed post-hire as well. Why the union feels police officers -- who should hold themselves to higher standards than the average hourly worker -- should be exempt from this extraordinarily common practice isn't clear.

The only thing it offers in its defense is that the contract signed with the city only specifies three times cops can be tested: after firing weapons, being involved in a car accident, or are "suspected of being under the influence." Why the additional testing of three officers involved in a car chase suddenly rises to the level of Constitutional violation is something only the union can suss out. And it seems to have confused "violated the terms of an agreement" with "violated officers' Fourth Amendment rights."

Because if the test is a violation of civil rights in this particular circumstance, then it's a violation of rights even under the terms of the agreement. The union reps seem to have opted for drama, rather than accuracy, which is kind of standard operating procedure. I mean, it's not as though the Pittsburgh PD needs to swear out a warrant to obtain the fluids requested in the circumstances permitted by the agreement.

Police officers should be subject to random drug and alcohol testing just like everyone else in the nation's workforce. Considering most states tie implied consent to drug/alcohol testing to the issuance of drivers licenses, it's really not too much to ask that people in powerful government positions be subject to the same expectations.

Filed Under: accountability, body cameras, civil rights, pittsburgh, police, police unions


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 1:53am

    Crystal clear actually

    Why the union feels police officers -- who should hold themselves to higher standards than the average hourly worker -- should be exempt from this extraordinarily common practice isn't clear.

    'Isn't clear' only if you ignore past actions and statements by police unions. If you do take those into account however the reasoning is abundantly clear: the various police unions are firmly against anything that even could result in police being held accountable for their actions, whether that be bodycams, or in this case drug-tests.

    Body-cams could result in showing a cop not following the law, or acting in a manner 'less than professionally', therefore they object to them. Drug tests could result in a cop being found to be acting under the influence, therefore they object to them. Anything that might result in police misconduct or abuse of authority being known is something they object to, it's really that simple.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 4:13am

      Re: Crystal clear actually

      I reiterate my point that the police unions ar ehte most toxic part of the police/public discourse.

      This very kind of thing is one fo the reasons why, for all the good that those things do for officers, the people involved at the top are utter shits.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 4:33am

        Re: Re: Crystal clear actually

        I reiterate my point that the police unions ar ehte most toxic part of the police/public discourse.

        Very much so, yes.

        As the 'public face' for the police, how the unions and their reps act influence how people see them and those they are supposed to be representing, and when you see the unions time and time again defending the absolute worst of the lot among the police, or in this case demanding special treatment above and beyond what others expect in their jobs, then they all come out looking bad.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:16am

      Re: Crystal clear actually

      It doesn't matter if it's body cams, drug tests or whatever. The moment the cop joins the police force, society grants him/her powers that may severely harm the ordinary citizen if misused even causing death (or worse, permanent trauma, harassment). Once you wield that kind of power you should be held to a much higher standard. Actually, any representative of the people should be treated following the same logic. So, yes, abuse of power and other violations like working under drugs that can hinder your best judgment should be severely punished or at least dismissed from working to the people (aka in the Government).

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  • identicon
    al baker, 30 Dec 2015 @ 3:33am

    "Considering most states tie implied consent to drug/alcohol testing to the issuance of drivers licenses"

    Quite by accident you've seem to have presented a solution to the problem. Set up a DUI checkpoint on the entrance/exit to the Police Station car park and "randomly" check drivers passing through. Warrantless breath and blood takings whenever you want. For the win!!!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:40am

      Re:

      Sounds great, who are we going to get to set up the checkpoint?
      Oh... Right.. Other officers who will be subject to the next random checkpoint being set up by the guys they are screening now...

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      • identicon
        Michael, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re:

        Why not some random retail workers? They have been held to a higher standard than the nations law enforcement officers already, so we can have a bit more confidence in them anyway.

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      • icon
        klaus (profile), 31 Dec 2015 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re:

        I'm probably making a very stupid point, but I seem to remember from TV shows and films the police would dread a knock on their precinct door from "Internal Affairs". Surely that wasn't all make-believe?

        There has to be some police oversight, right?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2015 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        Hire a group of independents to do these tests. License them. Make them unpaid (or very very low pay) but offer them a HUGE commission for anyone they do catch breaking the law. Require police officers to undergo tests by those licensed at the discretion of those with the license to conduct these tests. If their income is mostly commissioned they will now have incentive to catch lawbreakers.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2015 @ 9:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Allow ANYONE with no prior criminal conviction to become licensed upon passing a test. It's not a job you apply and get selected for, it's more akin to applying for a business license to become an independent. Make sure the test isn't unreasonably difficult or expensive to take and that the license is not unreasonably expensive to acquire and maintain.

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 3:38am

    REALLY??

    "Police Union Thinks Cops Should Receive Less Scrutiny Than Retail Workers"

    The Chain I worked in for 8 years, installed $2 million for cameras and security into our building...Over 60% was on the employees..more cameras were on the employees then customers.

    If your register was OFF, more then $5, it was reported...
    You could be fired for Servicing another employee at a register, that was a friend..
    If you didnt follow Check/CC protocols, to the letter...FIRED.

    We signed Protocol Papers Every 3 months..

    We were checked by secret shoppers ALL THE TIME..

    cutting HOURS, never the same days off, SPLIT days off, and TRYING to make ends meet..

    Cutting the number of employees..

    GET A HINT HERE...I WISH they had the same..
    1 BAD word in front of a customer, and you WOULD BE FIRED..

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 4:26am

      Re: REALLY??

      Why oh why did you continue in such a ****** job?

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:49am

      Re: REALLY??

      If only police could be subject to the level of scrutiny you describe.

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    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:45am

      Re: REALLY??

      In fairness to the employer, most "shrinkage" (theft) in retail is due to employees, not customers.

      That said, if the working conditions are unreasonable, the responsible thing is to quit. If enough people do that, they'll have no choice but to improve them.

      Of course, everyone has to make a living.

      But there are other jobs, and other employers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 4:45am

    Why do police have unions?
    Are they routinely abused by their employer?
    Have they been rounded up and beaten by pinkertons?
    I don't get it. The only union right wingerz like.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      Wait up... as a right winger, I despise ALL UNIONS for public/government employees. Teachers & Police Unions are go to examples of corrupt & evil unions.

      The ONLY union of value is the one formed to fight corporate corruption/abuse of employees AND the one dissolved when the problem has been rectified.

      There should be no law for or against unionization, EXCEPT in the public/government sector. People should eternally be free to create and dissolve unions at will without undue interference from the courts OR from right to work, or Union states!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        Unions for public servants is something I soured on quickly the moment I thought about it, and the evidence backing me are Police Unions and the entire year of 2015.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2015 @ 3:32am

      Re:

      public relations to disguise the thuggery going on behind the scenes

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:03am

    It's a violation of their union contract to undergo drug and alcohol testing? Did I miss something? Every business, every government agency, every retailer ... any job you take requires potential employees to undergo drug and alcohol testing. It's actually a requirement before you are considered for employment. Police officers are paid for by tax dollars and are subject to the same rules.

    I don't know if I would feel safe if a police officer in my neighborhood was hopped up on drugs and alcohol. The very fact that they also have a badge and a gun makes that a dangerous situation.

    What also makes this even worse is that if you were accused of drug and alcohol abuse, the police would confiscate your guns and you would lose your gun licenses. What the hell is going on here?

    Did we suddenly become a communist country?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:12am

      Re:

      It's a violation of their union contract to undergo drug and alcohol testing? Did I miss something?

      Sorta, they can be tested, it's just it has to happen under very specific circumstances, and unless I'm missing something, 'random' isn't one of them, so while the cashier at the grocery store can face a random drug test, the police in that city cannot.

      The only thing it offers in its defense is that the contract signed with the city only specifies three times cops can be tested: after firing weapons, being involved in a car accident, or are "suspected of being under the influence."

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:47am

        Re: Re:

        This raises another question, what does the contract say about the details of that third clause? Is it left vague, or is it rigidly defined? Who can suspect the officer, their supervisor, a citizen, a fellow officer?

        There is always more to the story, but the city is getting caught with a contract that is clearly favoring the union significantly more than the citizens.

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        • identicon
          Michael, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          the city is getting caught with a contract that is clearly favoring the union significantly more than the citizens

          That's pretty much the case with all police union contracts. They have been re-negotiated over and over and with the result of a city not agreeing to a contract being no law enforcement officers available, they have quite a lot of leverage.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The one time I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the police were on strike and the National Guard (not very national as they are organized by the states) were on duty. Unfortunately only the Governor can call them out and small towns will have a hard time convincing the Governor that the National Guard should come to their piece of Podunk while a new police force is hired without a union.

            In some ways I feel it was the only thing Reagan got right, firing the Air Traffic Controllers. There is something to be said for institutional knowledge but I would hesitate to hire some other departments rejects, with or without a union.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        What is the time limit on testing after firing a weapon? Can it be up to 180 days after the semi-annual weapons qualification?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:08am

    They should be tested more.

    Considering their position, they should be tested more, not less. I say let them be tested every shift.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:35am

      Re: They should be tested more.

      The city does not in any way have the funds to test every officer daily. Few cities would have the funds to test every officer regularly, and much of that money would still be better spent on other things (for example body cameras and community outreach programs).

      That being said, testing officers after a major occurrence such as a car chase is a reasonable protection to ensure that the officers acted appropriately.

      Random tests may not be allowed by contract, but unless this article is bias and completely ignores parts of the full contract, I would venture to guess that "suspecting" an officer of being under the influence is an incredibly low standard to pass.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: They should be tested more.

        "testing officers after a major occurrence such as a car chase is a reasonable protection"

        I'm sure this occurs without impediment.
        /s

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:56am

          Re: Re: Re: They should be tested more.

          Testing for what exactly? Alcohol, illicit drugs, steroids...? Given how hair trigger some of these cops seem Steroids might be worth testing for.

          Next on Shark Tank a drug testing urinal for police stations everywhere.

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      • identicon
        wec, 30 Dec 2015 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: They should be tested more.

        And pay for all those civil suits.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 11:19am

      Re: They should be tested more.

      90-180 days would be more realistic. Also after any public altercation requiring force, or an injured suspect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:20am

    Yay!

    Finally a situation where you don't like the fourth amendment!

    Seriously. Every other fourth amendment issue techdirt is on the side of the Constitution, but when it's people you don't like, its bad. That's not how rights work.

    Government employees are citizens and still protected by the Constitution, even against their employers. There are exceptions, but I don't remember the last time techdirt was in favor of exceptions to constitutional rights either.

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:48am

      Re: Yay!

      If you think the fourth amendment should protect police from drug testing, then it should likewise protect everyone else too.

      Conversely, if everyone else can be screened for drugs, then police should especially be expected to be screened.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:44am

        Re: Re: Yay!

        You both are right, urine should be considered a HIPPA right and should not be compelled from anyone (employer or law enforcement) unless by warrant!

        Remember, the POTUS has a detail that secures their piss and poo.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re: Yay!

        Everyone else can't be screened for drugs *by the government*. Whether non-government employers and employees choose to agree to such arrangements between each other has nothing to do with the fourth amendment. The Constitution limits government action.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:53am

      Re: Yay!

      Perhaps the union will be surprised to know that these supposed "Constitutional violations" occur daily at nearly every major employer. They are required before applicants are hired and random checks are often performed post-hire as well. Why the union feels police officers -- who should hold themselves to higher standards than the average hourly worker -- should be exempt from this extraordinarily common practice isn't clear.

      ...

      Because if the test is a violation of civil rights in this particular circumstance, then it's a violation of rights even under the terms of the agreement. The union reps seem to have opted for drama, rather than accuracy, which is kind of standard operating procedure. I mean, it's not as though the Pittsburgh PD needs to swear out a warrant to obtain the fluids requested in the circumstances permitted by the agreement.


      I didn't read it as anything to do with not liking the fourth amendment, so much as pointing out that in every other job drug tests are expected as a part of the job, and the union is objecting that their precious officers might be treated the same. As well, if they're going to object to the tests in this case as 'constitutional violations', to be consistent they'd have to be objecting to any drug tests, which is not the case, as the contract clearly allows them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:56am

      Re: Yay!

      When the officer is involved in an incident that could be influenced by said drugs/alcohol, it would be reasonable to test for such influence. The fourth is to protect from when there is no reason for such a search, not from every search.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:05am

        Re: Re: Yay!

        When the officer is involved in an incident that could be influenced by said drugs/alcohol, it would be reasonable to test for such influence.


        The police consent, via contract, to certain tests. If a test is demanded outside of this contract and without the sort of circumstances that would allow them to force a citizen to be tested... then yes, it IS a fourth amendment violation, because their employer is the government. Consent was not given, so get a warrant if you want to test them so badly. But somehow I think you'll need more than "the officer was involved in a chase" to get probable cause.

        If the police had a contract restricting what they could say while on the job, and the government then used that to fire them for giving a speech while off the clock, that would be a violation of free speech rights, not a mere contract dispute. If the contract called for working 40 hours per week and they forced them to work 18 hours a day 7 days a week and didn't allow them to quit, that would be slavery, not a difference in opinion on working hours. And if they searched them for drugs in a circumstance not called for by the contract or by probable cause, that's a fourth amendment violation. Right?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:24am

      Re: Yay!

      Not sure what you are going on about here.
      Are you mad because the 4th amendment seemingly is selectively enforced?
      Are you mad because the police should not be given special treatment not afforded to ordinary citizens?
      Are you mad because you do not understand the bill of rights?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: Yay!

        I don't approve of opposition to civil rights when you don't like the people receiving the benefits of those rights. Civil rights apply to everyone, no exceptions to the Fourth for cops, or to the First for journalists either.

        If you're going to accuse me of not understanding the bill of rights, it would help if you'd mention how you think I don't.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:22am

    I think we should start by drug testing the police union first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:42am

    That old saw...

    Come on, officers, if you don't have anything to hide you don't have any reason to worry, right? Right??

    Police union reps will now join pedophiles, drug traffickers, and terrorists in the group of "Bad People the Fourth Amendment Protects".

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    • icon
      Eponymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:44am

      Re: That old saw...

      Please note that I hold most police officers, especially the ones I know personally, in high esteem. The union reps can piss up a rope, though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re: That old saw...

        No so fast...

        The actions of a person make them. I hold no officer in esteem because you cannot find a single one of them that is honest!

        In fact I challenge that you can find one. Officers are not only at liberty to lie to people but also encouraged to lie to them. They often arrest people and seize property and possessions in contravention of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th amendments consistently on Daily and even HOURLY basis!

        Let me MAKE THIS CLEAR! The Law Enforcement community is SO CORRUPT that even the actual nice guys you speak of are CORRUPT AS WELL (even if they do not want to be) and for some reason you just do not seem to even know it. This is what you call a level of corrupt so common, so accepted that corrupt is no longer seen for what is is!!!

        Yes is is possible for nice people to still work in law enforcement, but NEVER make the mistake they are not corrupt in this system as it stands today. It is IMPOSSIBLE to serve and remain in that service without becoming corrupt no matter how nice you are!

        As it is written, you cannot serve two masters!

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      • icon
        Eponymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: That old saw...

        I see your challenge and raise you with a broader, and equally impossible , challenge. Find an honest person, full stop. I won't wait.

        Your hyperbole notwithstanding, don't tell me who to respect, and mind that caps lock, if you would. It can make one seem quite the zealot if over-used.

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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:46am

    How about testing Congress and state lawmakers?

    Shouldn't they be held to a much higher standard?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:57am

      Re: How about testing Congress and state lawmakers?

      Wouldn't work, 'campaign contributions' don't show up on drug tests, and that's the really dangerous 'drug' that you need to worry about them taking.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:00am

      Re: How about testing Congress and state lawmakers?

      The problem with trying to claim congress and lawmakers are employees of the people and need to be tested for drugs, is proving they have done any work in the first place.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re: How about testing Congress and state lawmakers?

        All members of congress, both federal and state, are receiving government funds and therefore are subject to drug testing. If found to be clean, they are re-reimbursed. If not clean, they lose their government funding and are enrolled in a rehab program which they have to pay for.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 5:57am

    Employers have the right to drug or alcohol test any employee they suspect of being under the influence and in most cases, its ground for immediate termination.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:03am

    firing weapons


    they fire their weapons at the academy so any random test after are with in legal range .

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  • icon
    David (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:10am

    There is one minor difference

    This is not to say that I don't agree it is a good idea, but...

    Search and seizure protections are much like free speech protections. The fact is that in both cases, the Bill of Rights only protect us from Government action; Government interference with speech, Government search and seizure. Cops work for our local governments. Retail workers work for a private company which is not bound by the Bill of Rights.

    That being said, when I was in the Navy, back in the '80s, they did drug testing.

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  • icon
    Dan (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:10am

    So much fail...

    While I agree with your bottom line, some of the reasoning here is pretty bad. I do agree that police officers should be subject to random drug testing. I'm a Soldier, and I am; I face criminal charges if I can't pee in a cup on command. But with that said...

    The Fourth Amendment. Come on, you know this. The Fourth Amendment restrains (in theory) the government, not private people or companies. If my private employer wants me to submit a urine sample every day under threat of termination, there's no Fourth Amendment issue there--but if my government employer demands that, there is. A government employer can implement drug testing without violating the Fourth Amendment, but they need to do it right.

    The contract. Well, it depends on exactly what the contract says, which neither you nor I know. If it says, "officers may be tested only in circumstances X, Y, and Z," and the department is trying to require drug tests under circumstance A, they most likely lose. If the contract says, "officers may be tested in circumstances X, Y, and Z," without stating whether that's an exclusive list or note, it's a closer case, but I'd guess the department still loses.

    Implied consent. Well, there's an express law that says you impliedly consent to testing by driving. If you think that should apply to wearing a badge, then amend the law. They aren't the same thing.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:56am

      Re: So much fail...

      >>>Implied consent. Well, there's an express law that says you impliedly consent to testing by driving. If you think that should apply to wearing a badge, then amend the law. They aren't the same thing.

      A lot of cops are paid to be behind the wheel (or handlebars or reins as may be - I suspect in many jurisdictions a horse = a motorcycle = a car at least on public streets), as part of their job.

      By the logic of implied consent they're susceptible to drug testing at any time, badge or no.

      And unless things have changed dramatically in the last X years, since cops are paid to drive (or ride) then they fall under DOT rules. And those rules have a lot to say about random drug testing and driving (or riding) while under the influence.

      The trouble with that line of thought is, who's going to enforce it and carry out the random drug tests.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:05am

      Re: So much fail...

      ...If my private employer wants me to submit a urine sample...there's no Fourth Amendment issue there--but if my government employer demands that, there is...

      What about government mandated testing for private employers?

      All trucking and motor coach companies are required to have a random test program as a condition of receiving a DOT number (said number required to be posted on all applicable vehicles). The laws and regulations actually apply to all employees of the company, including those who will never touch a vehicle! If you read some of the trucks - not the trailers - you'll see company names that are different or read like a wholly-owned subsidiary; example being "WalMart Transportation, LLC" instead of "WalMart Stores". The reason for that is so only those employees subject to testing will be on the employee roster; any other employee who will never touch a vehicle (think secretaries, bookkeepers, and custodians) will be on the employee roster of a different company not subject to testing. Testing costs money, and if the company can avoid the cost it will.

      And random testing does not stop drivers from being under the influence. In my area the last three years there's been no less than three fatal accidents involving a CDL found under the influence. One of them also involved exceeding hours of service, but that's another story.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 11:32am

      Re: So much fail...

      > Implied consent. Well, there's an express law that says you impliedly consent to testing by driving. If you think that should apply to wearing a badge, then amend the law. They aren't the same thing.

      Do cops drive?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 2:43pm

      Re: So much fail...

      The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Cops are given exceptional power, weapons, legal leeway, and (nearly always) the benefit of the doubt. How is it unreasonable to also expect them to prove they're not impaired while carrying out their duties?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Geno0wl (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:25am

    Funny

    I work for a Major Police Department and we do random drug screening here, at all levels, and nobody says a peep.
    last one was actually earlier this month actually.
    Slight difference is though, that if you are caught you are not instantly fired(depending on which drug) but are suspended and sent to counselling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 2:51pm

      Re: Funny

      While it is nice to see it treated as something that needs help, my mind does have problems with regular citizens not getting the same treatment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Josh (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:29am

    Question from the back

    If It's against the Constitution to test for drugs/other things, should all the arrests/fines for this same testing be thrown out as well?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:41am

    I think we found Whatever, guys!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:15am

    Think of the cost savings

    As the early part of the article points out, police unions go out of their way to protect officers from accountability for bad actions. Therefore, we can assume that, if an officer were to test positive, the union would go out of its way to minimize the damage that the test does to his career. Therefore, by not testing him, we save the expense of running a test that will, ultimately, have no negative effect on the officer, regardless of what the test shows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 8:29am

    This could backfire against every employer in the country who could be pressured into halting drug testing. Because if this police union succeeds in stopping police officers from getting drug tested, employers are going to hold police unions all across the country responsible for this bullshit.

    Employers, no matter if they are public or private or government, have the right to require drug testing of its employees if they suspect drug or alcohol use or if they are suspected to be under the influence of such drugs or alcohol.

    These police unions have created a major screw-up over this, there is no way they can win on this issue, even if they succeed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 9:46am

      Re:

      I disagree!

      No company should EVER have a RIGHT or the power to force someone to take a drug test. What people do on their own time is their business!

      As long as said employee shows up to work and performs to a satisfactory degree, does not disrupt the work place, or otherwise do anything illegal while on duty all should be well!

      If a person does show up high, drunk, belligerent, or hostile then you can can them for misconduct!

      There is just simply no reason to run around randomnly testing people for drugs, it is an invasion of privacy and with medical technology getting better everyday will lead to anyone discovering your medical condition which is HIPPA protected from smell, body fluid, or other creative methods.

      High technology and our incessant desire to tell everyone how they should live their life is what leads to war. Every culture, religious or not, & every political walk of life seeks to control you in some form or fashion... we need to make sure we minimize the control so that it cannot be used for tyranny! And you are advocating tyranny!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        I've told recruiters that I will submit to drug tests... but not gladly, except under two circumstances:
        1) government contractual requirements - where the company has no choice but to conduct the testing. Includes security clearance.
        2) heavy machinery operation - you really don't want someone wielding dangerous machinery while in an altered state of consciousness.

        Beyond that, only two things:
        1) Does the CEO also get drug tested?
        2) If I submit to your drug test, will you show me his/her results?

        What? You "can't"? Privacy issues? You don't see the irony here, do you...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 7:36pm

      Re:

      Fascist cunt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 30 Dec 2015 @ 9:13am

    Going the wrong way...

    I think the police unions are right - drug tests are a constitutional violation. Here in Canada, that sort of thing is unheard of. perhaps the police union should be spearheading civil rights for retail workers. Who knows, they might make some friends for a change.

    IMHO if a person is under the influence, they should be fired; if typically under the influence at work, then their boss should be fired - for being so out of touch with what's happening in their department that they don't notice. That's why there are bosses - all the surveillance cameras, drug tests, etc. won't correct procedure.

    As for drugs outside of work hours - none of the employer's f****ng business.

    As for the retail worker discussing oppressive working conditions... vote Trump. (...He said sarcastically). The one intelligent thing Trump said a while ago was to make the electronic online ID verification work, so you could prosecute employers who hire illegals.

    Create a real shortage of workers, and employers will be falling over themselves to offer good working conditions and good pay - or will have to close their doors. As long as there is a subclass that will work for any pay, and never complain about conditions, there is an incentive for employers to shovel more crap onto their workers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Going the wrong way...

      The problem is we have cops shoot unarmed people in the back and the union cheerleads them being placed on duty, even after the alleged wheels of justice have ruled against the officer. They go back on the force, get back pay and full pension rights before they screw up again and are allowed to retire to avoid a huge fight over holding them accountable under the law.

      If an officer suspects you have drugs, they can use all sorts of field tests on you why are the officers different?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 10:39am

    AC, I can see why you might think that drug testing is a constitutional violation. After all, Canadians don't believe in constitutional rights. Just a bunch of bloody wankers. After all, Canada is part of the British Empire and they are still angry that the American Colonies succeeded and kicked the British out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 6:11pm

      Re:

      After all, Canada is part of the British Empire ...

      I think WW2 pretty much finished off the British Empire. We had The Commonwealth for some time afterward, but I'm not sure where that is these days. Canada "repatriated" its constitution a few decades ago cutting whatever ties were left, and now we just politely smile and clap (just like you in The Colonies do) when the royal family waves at us.

      It's very funny watching the US go gaga over British royalty, as if they were Hollywood stars or something. Now, the Brits admire your imperialism while you admire their royalty. Very odd.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dragnet, 30 Dec 2015 @ 1:39pm

    I am a police officer and I can do whatever I like when I like and nobody can stop me, that is my right, so up against the wall motherfuqers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2015 @ 2:58pm

      Re:

      I'm from the internet and we can do so much more to you & you can't stop us. Up against the pile of pizza deliveries while we destroy your credit score.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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