Faced with a public outcry, unflattering media reports and a growing national concern, Phoenix became the first major city to test its police officers and firefighters randomly for anabolic steroids, reports the Arizona Republic. Two years and more than 3,600 random tests later, police leaders from New York to Hawaii reach out to Commander Kim Humphrey for advice on how to curb “roid rage” in law enforcement without jeopardizing employee privacy or alienating new recruits.
Like athletes who ignore testosterone-induced side effects to gain a competitive edge on the field, a handful of local law-enforcement officers were investigated because authorities believed they were using anabolic steroids to gain an edge on the streets. Since 2006, five Phoenix police officers and one firefighter recruit have tested positive for anabolic steroids. When testosterone levels indicate recent steroid use, discipline ranges from suspension to possible termination based on the circumstances. Police departments such as Dallas and Albuquerque added random steroid tests after Phoenix established its policy. Wellness education is a key aspect of the Phoenix plan. The police and fire departments require new hires to watch educational steroids videos and review other material.