The system is expected to come into effect in the third quarter of the year.
Sat 7:30 AM 78,502 Views 106 Comments
GARDA MANAGEMENT HAVE decided to introduce mandatory drug testing for all garda members and staff, TheJournal.ie has learned.
Under garda plans, the drug testing will be brought in during the third quarter of the year. Compliance with the new policy will be “mandatory” according to multiple sources.
The new policy will apply to gardaí, civilian garda staff and to police officers from the PSNI who have been seconded to the force here.
Those who fail a drug test can be subject to a criminal investigation. They will also face disciplinary action up to, and including, dismissal from the force.
One of the reasons the policy is being introduced is because gardaí who end up having difficulty with drug habits or addictions are easy prey for criminal gangs. Such garda members leave themselves open to blackmail or extortion.
Gardaí confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the testing is being introduced.
A garda spokesman said:
“An Garda Síochána is progressing the introduction of a substance misuse (controlled drugs) testing programme within the organisation. The use of controlled drugs by Garda personnel is not tolerated. Possessing and supplying controlled drugs are criminal offences. https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.435.0_en.html#goog_1567312348https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.435.0_en.html#goog_1567312347volume is 80%volume is gedemptvolume is 80%volume is gedemptAdvertisement
“An Garda Síochána has not conducted drug testing up to now. However, any members suspected of the unlawful possession of drugs are fully investigated from a criminal and disciplinary point of view.”
Fred is baffled. At a time we need the Gardai to assist Public Health teams in administering public health regulatory advice and if necessary requesting that fines be paid or making arrests, surely this is not the right time for mandatory drug testing of An Garda Siochana. We are living in most exceptional times and An Gardai are Frontline Workers. COVID-19 has our city and towns like wasteland with buildings empty and Garda cars on the lookout to warn people to stay in their homes. The problem relating to illegal drugs may have taken a different trajectory now that we have no pub scene, no nightclubs (only the odd shebeen); it is more likely that there are those (43% up from 3% ) remote workers who are being paid their salaries for working from home and who have tapped into the delivery services that provide them with a bit of “High” to take them to oblivion and away from the boredom of living Covid-19 life.