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June 06, 2005

Cops on steroids

Forget steroids in baseball. How about drug tests for cops? Anecdotal evidence suggests that anabolic steroid abuse is a growing problem among police officers.

There's not much hard data on the subject yet, but if steroid use in any population deserves public scrutiny, it would be among police.

"We've seen the recent scandals in baseball over steroids," said Larry K. Gaines, chairman of the criminal-justice department at California State University at San Bernardino.

"And absolutely anyone who has a weapon and is authorized to use a weapon should be tested regularly," he said. "In the case of police officers who, unlike athletes, have a job to protect the public and have to use judgment when enforcing the law, it only makes sense."[Richmond Times-Dispatch]


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Now this was interesting, thanks for the link. Last week I was stuck on Jury duty (ugh) for a meth possession case and I noticed, in an abstract sort of way, that both police officers who testified looked extremely muscular and fit. Perhaps moreso than one would expect (but of course, given their line of work...)

Of course, I can't say that they were on steroids, or weren't (and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt) but it just struck me as an interesting.

Funny you should run this today. We had a front page story about some idiots who opened a fire hydrant (small town) and the picture accompanying it was this:

That guy has definetly been hitting the juice!

How about drug tests for Nascar drivers and the WWF? Also, for all employees of major league sports, not just athletes - their agents also?

I don't support across the board drug tests for any industry (except maybe pilots, and even then...).

I just think that we should follow up on the anecdotal reports of steroid abuse among police officers with sound epidemiological research.

If there's a problem, I think that we need to raise awareness among local police authorities and give then the option to order drug tests for officers who are suspected of having problems.

How is this not like the airline pilot case? Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time, making it hard to fly a plane. Steriods cause extreme violence and agression, making it hard to use a gun wisely.

Now I know why half the cops in town look like Jose Canseco.

I think that across-the-board drug tests are unduly invasive, especially if there's a relatively low base rate of whatever you're testing for. I read that one in ten adults has a drinking problem, and I'd guess the rate is similar for pilots. Add to that a certain percentage of the population that's just irresponsible about driving/flying under the influence. A random alcohol/CNS depressant screening program for pilots would be expected to catch a fair number of offenders and deter quite a few more.

I doubt that more than a fraction of the nation's cops are at risk for steroid abuse. Random steroid testing for all cops probably wouldn't catch enough people to justify the expense and the invasion of privacy.

On the other hand, I might support mandatory steroid testing for anyone involved in a disciplinary complaint, or testing at a supervisor's discretion.

Given today's drug testing climate, it wouldn't surprise me if large percentages of the nation's police are already undergoing random drug testing. In which case, it might make sense to add a steroid test to the battery.

I think all politicians in office should be subjected to random drug tests every 8 to 12 hours and if they come up dirty they should have to give up their office this goes double for judges and police as the people who legislate and enforce the law they should be held to a higher standard.

Furthermore these tests should be on public webcam to see who tries to cheat and those webcams would be great for police evidence rooms as well

Lindsay that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard

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