Letter to the editor: Random drug testing for police officers should be a requirement


In the wake of the recent death of Sgt. Rick Kelly while on duty at the Battle Ground Police Department, I would like to strongly urge the cities, counties and state Legislature to take a look at their policies surrounding random drug screening for police officers. The military requires random drug testing of the troops to ensure that they are not operating dangerous machinery such as vehicles and weapons systems under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Pilots and flight attendants are required to submit to random drug tests per 4 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 120, §§ 120.109(b) and 120.217(c). CDL holders require random drug testing per 49 CFR 382.305. I was stunned to learn that police officers who drive publicly owned vehicles, carry firearms, and have access to illicit substances that may be seized during a drug bust are currently not participating in any form of random drug screens. The last time this subject was broached with the state Legislature was in 2008 where a bill was presented too late to be heard. I think it is high time we revisit this issue both locally and at the state level.

Shauna Walters