PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The Peekskill Police Department plans to start mandatory drug testing for employees as is allowed in the most recent Police Benevolent Association (PBA) contract.
Police Chief Eugene Tumolo and Acting City Manager Brian Havranek told common council members they want to sign a contract with Clarity Testing Services of Elmsford as soon as possible in order to implement a program in January 2013. The department has been working to get a program in place for some time, but the most recent PBA contract made the process difficult, Tumolo said.
"The way the contract was written, the random testing had to be done using a computer generated program," Tumolo said. "It wasn't particularly well stated in the way it was laid out, so I've been trying to get this in place for a number of years. So hopefully we now worked out all the glitches that existed."
Clarity Testing provides "labmobiles" that travel to offices to perform employee drug tests on the spot, which removes the need to make employees travel to a testing site. The company already provides its services to the city's department of public works.
According to the company's proposal to the department, employees would be selected for testing using a scientific random method four times a year, and any given employee can be picked multiple times. New employees would be tested at the time of hiring. Tests can also be done if there is reasonable cause or post-accident if substance use is suspected to have played a part, the proposal said.
The company charges $4,100 for its testing services annually and $1,200 per training sessions. Altogether it would cost the city approximately $6,000 a year. The funding for the program would be included in the city manager's 2013 proposed budget, Havranek said.
The chief said illegal narcotics and controlled prescription drugs being used without a prescription would be tested for.
Anabolic steroids would not be tested for since they weren’t listed in the PBA contract, but probably would be at some point in the future, Tumolo added.