Many people agree to be randomly drug tested as part of their job description. There are benefits to this, as even if it doesn’t keep people from working in an impaired state, it does help to deter them. This testing often occurs in even jobs not requiring its workers to potentially save lives, so it’s understandable that the people of Pittsburgh think that their police officers ought to undergo the same testing. But the cops think that that’s unconstitutional.
At least, they think it’s unconstitutional when it comes to them.
The police force has recently launched a civil rights lawsuit stating that drug testing them counts as an “illegal search and seizure, ” which would require them to “forfeit their constitutional rights to protect the city from civil liability.” They also state that in addition to being unconstitutional, it’s unlawful in other ways. Namely, it wasn’t agreed to in their contract to undergo mandatory drug testing. Their contract doesn’t entirely exclude the possibility; at the moment the police force can only be tested under circumstances where it’s necessary, such as if they are involved in a high-speed car chase. One case on Baum Boulevard which led to a crash resulted in the officers involved being tested. But generally, unless there is a cause, police officers do not need to undergo drug testing.
I consented to be randomly drug tested at my workplace before, and it wasn’t a job where my sobriety was as important as that of a cop’s. I was merely a food service worker, and it was disrespectful to work and interact with so many people without my faculties. But I understand the predicament; if cops didn’t sign on agreeing to random or scheduled drug testing, I understand why their hackles are raised over it as an invasion. I think a new workplace agreement should be implemented where they have to agree to the testing. If they don’t like it, then they can quit. No one who didn’t agree to it previously should be forced into it, but that doesn’t mean the rules need to stay the same.