June 25, 2008

Drug testing for cops

For the first time, city police officers will be subject to random drug testing under the newly approved union contract.
Mayor Art Ward said that drug testing is “a part of just about every contract” nowadays and shouldn’t be taken as an indication that the city has any concerns about drug use by officers.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to get the language in there,” said Personnel Director Diane Ferguson. She said the police union didn’t have a problem with adding it.
The provision calls for “no more than 25” tests per year for employees randomly picked by lottery by the chief in the presence of a union leader.
Those picked for urine testing will be tested during the first available shift within 48 hours of their selection, the contract provides.
The contract spells out allowable limits for everything from marijuana to methadone, including anabolic steroids and a number of other drugs.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne, who opposed the contract, said he believes the standards are not tough enough because they allow officers to have a minimal amount of some drugs in their urine without getting into hot water.
“I believe there should be zero tolerance,” Cockayne said.
The contract allows employees who admit to drug-related misconduct to seek rehabilitation once without discipline as long as they come forward before they are selected for tests.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical Cockayne attitude...."All or nothing"

Anonymous said...

I guess having the standard of no drug use and in essence - no law breaking for the men in blue who are entrusted with protecting this community and who are empowered to do this with the use of deadly force if necessary is too much to ask.

Yeah - typical Cockayne! How dare you expect this from our police officers!

Anonymous said...

Didn't Cockayne have a personal issue with the PD a few years back?

Anonymous said...

Kenny, remember what the cops did to Michelle.

Anonymous said...

Limits are those used by the state police - minimum allowance levels are considered with regard to residuals of things such as legal medications.

Anonymous said...

Here come the Cockayne attacks! He never said the police did a bad job. This is about the contract itself, not the police personally. Keep the issues separate.

Anonymous said...

I love it!

No more closed door politics with Cockayne around.

He has got to be the bigges thorn in the side the good ole boys network has ever had to deal with.

Keep bringing things out into the public. I have never felt so informed as a citizen of Bristol. This is great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Can the public see these contracts?

I don't think "residuals" applies only to prescription medications. If that was the case they you wouldn't have to report prescribed medications you are taking prior to a drug test.

I don't agree with "zero tolerance" like termination for durg use, but consequences yes. If a person has trace elements or "residuals" or marijuana or cocaine, I think it is a obvious that they have broken the law and taken something illegally. Why should we hold police to a higher standard. If they have traces in their system, hold them accountable, get them some help, rehabilitate them if necessary, get them back working and monitor them closer in hopes they abstain from drug use later.

I agree with Cockayne.

Anonymous said...

If the men in blue have nothing to fear, then drug testing should not be a problem. It's about time that someone like Ken takes a moral stand for this community. Thank you.
For those who need to launder Kens personal business, take a good look at thy self. One finger points out and three come back. We all have feet of clay.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows Cops party as much if not more then everybody else. There is no way that they would have agreed to what Ken was proposing. If they did, we would be putting officers on suspension and in treatment all the time. Good thing they don't test for alcohol! 1/2 the force would be in substance abuse counseling!

Anonymous said...

~ Good Ole Ken "anything to get my name in the headlines" Cockayne! Maybe instead of testing the cops, we should test Kenny...he's gotta be smoking something!

Anonymous said...

You know no cops will test positive for Cockayne!!!

Hi-Guy said...

Can they still deal ( as long as they don't use ) , or do I need to start looking for a new connection ??

Anonymous said...

The B.O.E. will NEVER agree to such a stipulation in their contracts .

They use " executive session " shields to protect their child molesters , so I can't imagine them agreeing to restrict their drug intake .

Anonymous said...

Cockayne has the courage to attach his name to his criticisms and take a stand. He is fighting for the taxpayers and what he believes is right.

Obvously that in itself is newsworthy and leads to headlines, which I have no problems with at all.

Keep bringing things out. No more closed government!

Anonymous said...

It's a legal thing - they can't word a contract to say that a drug test has to come back completely negative. There are circumstances that allow for a positive reading such as anti depressants, migrane medications, and prescription sleep aids - all and may more that could possibly come back with a positive narcotic reading.

Someone should explain this to Ken. I think he probably didn't understand what an acceptable positive test would be.

Anonymous said...

"Cockayne has the courage"

~ I think you're confusing "courage" with EGO...something Kenny definitely has plenty of!

Anonymous said...

Wht doesn't Ken bring out ALL the details of the contract?

He does have free access to them, and should share them.

Anonymous said...

what did Cockayne sue the city for anyway?

Anonymous said...

I love the way Cockayne always says he's doing this and doing that for the taxpayers, what do you think the vast majority of city workers are? Do you think they live in this city for free, WE PAY TAXES TOO. I think that Mr. Cockayne has forgotten this and why is it that all of the problem s of the city can be solved in his mind by cutting city employee benefits? It didn't seem to bother him about taking city money when he sued the City of Bristol several years ago, where did he think that money was coming from? Stop beating the city employees up and start doing your job looking for a better future for Bristol, not just your own political career.

Anonymous said...

The city workers should pay more for their health ins just like the rest of us non city working folks. Of course, the city workers are the ones complaining about the things Ken says because they have it made barely paying anything.

Anonymous said...

to poster 10:33 you say

Someone should explain this to Ken. I think he probably didn't understand what an acceptable positive test would be.

The article states the below comment, are these acceptable positives for you???

The contract spells out allowable limits for everything from marijuana to methadone, including anabolic steroids and a number of other drugs.

So let me get this right...they can find traces of ILLEGAL drugs in the officers systems and this is not a reason for suspension or termination?? The same officers who arrest others who may be doing this?? So we could have officers who do drugs who have power and carry guns and weapons and can still kepp their jobs??? Great job City of Bristol on deciding this one!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm no expert but I understand that eating things like poppy seed bagels can give a trace reading. Maybe that's why a small amount is allowed on the tests.

Anonymous said...

Ask Ken, he will have all the answers.

Anonymous said...

To 7:57

If in fact that is what the contract says, then I disagree with it. However, I doubt it.

I don't know how you were able to see the contract prior to it being posted to the public - unless you are on the Council.

I'm just going off of what Steve's article says.

Is your statement "The contract spells out allowable limits for everything from marijuana to methadone, including anabolic steroids and a number of other drugs." an actual quote from the contract or are you paraphrasing?

And if you have the contract, why don't you send it to Steve so that he can do another article on the topic with the actual document in front of him?

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:57:

You should do a better job of keeping your identity secret if you are going to post as Annonymous, Mr. Cockayne.

When did you see the contract that no one else but he police and city council has seen?

Anonymous said...

Did you know that if you go to a concert and there is someone smoking marajuana around you that you can have a positive drug test?

Anonymous said...

McCauley gone in 09! Working for the best interest of the Unions.

Anonymous said...

Great Job McCauley! You've got my vote in 09'!

Anonymous said...

Cockanye, your gone in 09, you'll just be anyother sad dark spot in Bristol's politcal history.