Do Police Officers Get Drug Tested?

Before I get started here I want to say I know there’s a perceived issue with law enforcement at the moment. Especially when it comes to drug enforcement. I won’t get into a debate about the morals and ethics here but the fact is if you’re in a state where weed is illegal and you get busted for it then it really is on you.

Maybe it should be legal but I’m not going to hold it against the police for doing their job. It’s a rough job they have and while sometimes it might look like they go after the low hanging fruit they do have a tough time of it.

But since we’re looking at other jobs and since our recent article on do restaurants drug test we had people asking about the police. We though it was an interesting question. Do cops get drug tested?

Most jobs people look at to avoid drug testing are crap jobs. We know this. The employer knows it. You’re probably shoveling fries or mopping the floors somewhere. We’ve started showing people how to avoid a drug test and make an actual living with decent work but working as a police officer does give back to the community and safety of others.

So there’s the question – do you get tested to get the job? Are you going to get tested randomly?

Our findings were mixed. Like most jobs it’s usually in the contact that they can be. They have pre employment tests and random spot checks. But, still like any other job, reports are varied whether or not anyone ever does get tested.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence from pretty reliable sources that (at least in some cases) it doesn’t happen too often.

police drug tested

While reports from other areas say they randomly pick people every month to test.

Some details were released on drug testing the UK police and while a small number were targeted tests after a tip (the vast majority coming back positive) most of them were decided randomly.

Obviously (like most jobs) this will vary from state and department. In fact if I had to give a one sentence answer it would have to be “depends on the department”. Some more specialised areas (like SWAT for example) reportedly test more often.

What Kinds of Drug Tests do Police Take?

While this will vary between regions and departments too it’s generally urine tests they have to take. Some might go full on hair and lab testing and a small number of places (I guess because they already have the equipment) are already breaking out the lie detector tests. Although how much stock even they honestly put into them I’ve no idea. I think they’re probably hoping some idiot confesses he gets high or drinks on the job.
police drug tested

While I’m sure the less trusting among us will refuse to believe it the truth is (for the most part) it’s like any other job. Some will test and some won’t. Some will have a pre employment drug test and others will have random tests as you go. Some will have it in the contract and might never use it.

Compared to working somewhere like a gas station or a retail store we’d guess there is a higher chance of being tested working with the police but it’s not guaranteed.

A further word of warning is while working at a restaurant or gas station under any kind of influence might get you sacked you might actively put someone’s life at risk if you’re not able to perform your job in the police.

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