During an investigation into an officer’s alleged marijuana use, Portland, Or., Police Chief Derrick Foxworth decided not to order the officer to take a drug test because he didn’t think he had the authority to do so, reports The Oregonian. If the chief had ordered the test, it likely would have been overturned because the police department has no written policy on how to carry out drug tests. Other law enforcement agencies have policies that allow them to order urine, blood, or breath tests if they have reasonable suspicion an employee is engaged in illegal alcohol or drug use.
No drug-testing policy exists for the Portland Police Bureau, the state’s largest police department. Most drug-testing policies in Oregon were adopted after negotiations with employee unions. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office adopted a reasonable suspicion standard for drug testing of its uniformed deputies in 1992. “We put loaded guns on our deputies and put them in 3,000-pound vehicles and let them race around with lights and sirens on,” said sheriff’s Lt. Bruce McCain. “We hope that they’re clearheaded, sane and sober.”