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New York City to Begin Routinely Testing Police Officers for Steroids

  1. Expat98
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/nyregion/10steroids.html?ref=nyregion

    Police Department to Start Routinely Testing Officers for Steroid Use

    By AL BAKER
    Published: April 10, 2008


    For many New York City police officers, a trip to the gym or the station house weight room is as much a part of the day as roll call or making notes in a memo book.

    Officers pump iron in New York, as they do around the nation. And sometimes, they pump more than that.

    Prompted by an investigation into a Brooklyn pharmacy that revealed several officers were steroid customers, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly decided last month to add steroids to the list of substances police officers are tested for, beginning sometime after July 1, said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.

    Under the new policy, reported on Wednesday in The New York Post, officers would be tested on entering the Police Academy and again when their probationary period ended after two years. Steroids would be added to the list of substances for which officers can be randomly tested.

    Currently, tests are given only when an officer is suspected of using steroids.

    There is $1 million earmarked in the city budget proposal for the program for the coming fiscal year, Mr. Browne said.

    “Being a cop is a job that requires considerable strength and agility,” said one police union official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic. “If you’re going to be wrestling some guy on angel dust, you want to be in shape. That is not in defense of steroids, or human growth hormones, it’s just why cops need to be physically fit.”

    As investigators looked into the dealings at the Brooklyn pharmacy, Lowen’s, an old-fashioned neighborhood drugstore in Bay Ridge, they said it had expanded into major transactions of steroids and growth hormone.

    The investigation into Lowen’s uncovered 19 officers who had been prescribed steroids, police officials said. That investigation was part of a larger inquiry into the illegal underground steroid industry. Steroid scandals have touched the sports and entertainment industries, exposing vast distribution networks for the illicit bodybuilding drugs.

    Of the officers implicated in the Lowen’s raid, six tested positive for steroid use, Mr. Browne said. Five of them have been suspended without pay and are facing departmental trials that could lead to their dismissal, he said. The sixth was put on modified duty.

    While steroids may not be perceived as being as dangerous as recreational narcotics, Mr. Browne said they are just as problematic for officers who do not have proof of their medical necessity.

    An internal memo was sent to all police commands on March 26 warning that using steroids for “bodybuilding and/or body enhancement” is not a legitimate medical use. “The demand for anabolic steroids caused by their continued use in bodybuilding and body enhancement activities creates an illegal market for these substances that is supported through organized crime,” the memo said.

    It said that steroid use can seriously impair a person’s health.

    The memo reflects the growing concern — among law enforcement agencies and the public — about the use of steroids and human growth hormones, particularly by athletes.

    The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the nation’s oldest and largest group of law enforcement executives, published a policy review about steroid use among officers in 2005, said Wendy Balazik, a spokeswoman for the association.

    Police officials in other cities said steroids was a topical issue.

    “We test for steroids on a pre-employment basis,” said Officer James Kenneally, a spokesman for the Boston Police Department, who said the policy was put in place there in recent years. He said that the department, so far, was not testing randomly for steroids.

    Albert W. O’Leary, the chief spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of New York City, declined to comment on the new policy.

    In the past, it has been how the department has moved to conduct certain types of drug testing — rather than the type of substances for which it tests — that the union has argued is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

    Mr. Browne said that urinalysis would be used to test for steroid use, which is the method used to test for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and other drugs.

Comments

  1. radiometer
    I'm all for this. I don't want any police officers near me having their performance enhanced. At least as far as detecting activity based around mind-altering drugs goes. ;)
  2. Hyperspaceblastoff
    steriods make people more angry and trigger happy
    i think this is good
  3. Expat98
    Do a little research on steroid use and you may discover that the sterotype about steroids causing roid rage is exactly that - a stereotype. There was some good information posted about this the other day - check out this thread.

    Steroids can of course be abused like any other drug. But they can also be used productively. For example, you might check out this recent thread on SWIM's use of a certain steroid to raise libido. SWIM says he liked it and did not feel aggressive, at least not in a negative way.

    The people who want to use steroids responsibly should not be punished for the irresponsible actions of those who abuse them. It's never good when people have their rights infringed, even if they're cops.

    Now, having said all of that, I do recognize that the situation is a bit trickier when the steroid users in question are cops carrying around guns who are frequently placed in edgy situations. What I am reacting to is just the broad statement that "steriods make people more angry". This frankly shows an ignorance of steroids. I see this attitude quite a bit on DF, and I think it's a little sad because this is supposed to be a drug information forum, not another place to spout out disinformation.
  4. AquafinaOrbit
    Legal system in this nation is all Fed up. That being said cops still do some good so I personally don't have much of an issue with them being faster/stronger then the cons.
  5. fnord
    While all drugs should be legal,there are many jobs where certain drugs should not be allowed,you wouldn't want a paramedic taking drugs would you?

    So ill go to jail if I'm taking drugs but its OK for the guy arresting me to take illegal drugs?

    Nah i dont think thats fair at all....
  6. 0utrider
    AW: New York City to Begin Routinely Testing Police Officers for Steroids

    SWIM has made personal experiences with roid-rage and its definitley not a myth, even though not common (if people know what they are doing) but it does exist
  7. fnord
    ^Yup! my old roomate was taking steriods,and used to freak out. Heres an example:

    SMASH!!! KICK!!!! BANG!!!! BOOM!!!

    ~fnord almost gets hit by a tea pot flying into teh living room


    Not the kind of behaivor i would want to see in someone carrying a gun...
  8. El Calico Loco
    And yet, a type of behavior we see more and more from LEOs on YouTube. And it does seem like they tend to be big burly guys with no necks... *smirk*


    ECL
  9. truth
    steroids do make people more angry though. SWIMs best friend was doing roids for awhile and used to get heated sometimes. Snap hella quick. Like ba bam.Scary shit. SWIM ran and screamed like a little girl.
  10. 0utrider
    AW: New York City to Begin Routinely Testing Police Officers for Steroids

    heehe... See THATS what SWIM means.. its not a myth, its just irresponsible usage
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