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Mandatory and Random Drug Testing in the Honolulu Police Department

NCJ Number
NarcOfficer Volume: 6 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1990) Pages: 36-39,75-76
B Webster; J G Brown
Date Published
6 pages
The Honolulu Police Department's drug testing program, developed in cooperation with the union, is unlike most police drug testing programs in providing officers an opportunity for treatment after a first positive urine test.
The program, which was established by the police chief on October 15, 1986, tests for cocaine and marijuana only, since these are the primary drugs of abuse in Hawaii. The program provides for varying drug-testing policies for three officer groups. Two groups of officers are subject to frequent or periodic mandatory testing: officers with responsibilities in the drug testing program and officers on probationary status, those involved in the investigation or authorized handling of illegal drugs, helicopter pilots and observers, canine handlers, bomb team members, and special weapons and tactics team members. The third and largest group of officers is composed of tenured officers, who may be randomly tested. Primary responsibilities for operating the testing program are held by the majors in the divisions of personnel and internal affairs. A description of the drug-testing program covers drug-testing methods, site procedures and controls, security for the test area, maintenance of the integrity of the samples, and documentation of the custody chain. The discussion of disciplinary measures focuses on refusal to report for testing, the first confirmed positive result, and the second confirmed positive result. The article concludes with a review of the department's experience with the program and with recommendations for police agencies considering a similar drug testing program.