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AFP Association shows it hand on drug testing.

By fgzk - 16 January 2011 18

ABC online has a story “Off-duty police could face drug testing“. The Australian Federal Police Association has proposed that officers be drugs tested 24/7, 365 days of the year.

The Australian Federal Police Association has put forward a proposal that would see officers subjected to random drug tests while off duty, as well as while they are at work.

At the moment, AFP officers can only be randomly tested while they are at work.

The association says its members are supportive of the proposal.

“Our members are eager to demonstrate as they always have been, to the public, how accountable they’re prepared to be and this demonstrates that illegal drugs are not something that federal police use,” association president Jim Torr said.

It demonstrates support for arbitrary drug testing. Will other Government departments make this a condition of employment?

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
AFP Association shows it hand on drug testing.
fgzk 10:33 am 19 Jan 11

Its good we get to ask questions and be educated. So the AFPA are just seeking an overtime payment to cover the time taken to comply with legislation and agreements that already exist. That seems fair enough. It also gets around the issue of, on duty and off duty, if your being paid, your at work. But thats not what the media release presents.

MR Torr said “The Australian Federal Police Association has put forward a proposal that would see officers subjected to random drug tests while off duty, as well as while they are at work.”

How embarrassing, he is proposing something that is already in place. Why………………….Just to be seen, to be representing its members.

Storm in an ill-advised tea cup or part of a wider political/commercial campaign.

dvaey 10:23 am 19 Jan 11

jtak said :

No other public service area would accept this. Unfortunately if you stand up and say ‘we will not accept this’ you then face the risk of being looked at with ‘what are you trying to hide?’

Doesnt this sound like *EXACTLY* the response when the police pushed to implement roadside drug testing? People complained about being drug-tested and raised these same issues and the police/govt said basically ‘what are you trying to hide, you druggos’. Maybe no other public service area would accept it, but in private industry its accepted practice in some areas where safety and accountability are important. To be fair, most public servants wouldnt accept less than a 2hr lunch, and at least one public holiday per month (and theyd better all be a long weekend).

jtak said :

If people are so concerned about those paid out of the public purse using drugs, why not begin with the areas which suffer a higher rate of drug abuse? I applaud our Defence members, but there are many of those who dabble.

I dont think it has so much to do with being paid from the public purse, as the fact theyre trying to force laws/rules upon the community, but baulking when its suggested they comply with the same rules. As far as I know, the defence department and its members (who may or may not dabble) are not trying to force drug testing upon the community, while the AFP are. If the defence force was trying to force the community to meet some standard, then the public would be within their rights to expect the same from those enforcing the rules. In the same way, if the lower soldiers were forced to be drug tested, they should expect those doing the testing and higher in command, to also be tested. Is that not fair? Is it not fair to expect those officers administering drug/alcohol tests to be tested to be clean themselves?

vg 10:58 pm 18 Jan 11

It really is embarassing for some people when they don’t understand the conditions at which ‘they’ or others are employed. The legislation for the AFP to test its members off duty has existed for years. Don’t believe me, read the AFP Act in conjunction with the current Certified Agreement. Storm in an ill-advised teacup

Spideydog 7:22 pm 18 Jan 11

Ok fgzk, I can see where you are coming from. I can only assume that they wish to help foster better public perception and confidence that their officers are exactly what they expect to be I suppose. Thats the whole idea of transparency and accountability.

jtak 6:34 pm 18 Jan 11

The AFPA should hang their head in shame, and retract such outrageous support for the infringement of rights. No other public service area would accept this. Unfortunately if you stand up and say ‘we will not accept this’ you then face the risk of being looked at with ‘what are you trying to hide?’

They have not liaised with their members on this, and that their statement that they have the police members support on this is an outright lie. I am absolutely disgusted.

Where will the big brother state end?

If people are so concerned about those paid out of the public purse using drugs, why not begin with the areas which suffer a higher rate of drug abuse? I applaud our Defence members, but there are many of those who dabble.

What about any other public service employee who has a security clearance? Surely recreational drug use is a black mark against your integrity also?

Bad idea.

fgzk 2:15 pm 18 Jan 11

Spideydog ” fgzk, is everything to do with Police a conspiracy?”

No I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. I do believe in, politicising issues, lobby groups, media campaigns, enterprise bargaining and greed. They seem to bind in a loose coalition for mutual interest.

I actual think this is a one sided issue. The AFP have nothing to hide and already carry out a comprehensive policy on drug use. Ive seen no evidence that the community is concerned or distrusts the stand that police take on drug use. Even the media release states that they believe they do not have a “problem”. No crime has been committed. Yet AFPA wants off duty drug testing.

AFP officers are also members of our community and such deserve the same protections and expectations that we all share. Unless you are at work, driving on the road or have a court order, you do not have to prove your drug free status to anyone (this may have changed). What they do in the privacy of their home is their business. What they do at work is police business.

Something like this does have a high “bite on ass factor”. You would want to be sure of your drug use facts first.

p1 4:04 pm 17 Jan 11

Do cops currently have a compulsory alcohol testing at the start of shifts?

In most mining operations, there is breatholizer testing of 100% of staff every shift. While police might not have the same problems the mining industry had in the bad old days, considering the fact that they already have the equipment and training to use it, such a regime would be pretty easy to institute.

dvaey 2:58 pm 17 Jan 11

fgzk said :

Why would the association burden its members with drug testing policy that does not exists in any other Australian industrial agreement. A policy that even the public are not subject to the “arbitrator testing for illicit drugs”.

‘the public’ arent out there testing others. If theyre testing others they need to be seen to be clean.

fgzk said :

Why use the word “Random” when clearly this is a targeted against AFP officers only?

Random simply means not blanket testing. It means they pick who they want, rather than testing everyone, in the same way as random breath testing targets who they choose.

fgzk said :

Why specifically mention “party drugs”?

More than that, why only mention illegal drugs? Do they believe that its okay to be doped up on prescription painkillers or anti-anxiety drugs, but not okay to smoke a joint on the weekend off-duty?

Mystery2Me 1:54 pm 17 Jan 11

Lol @ Pommy bastard, or they’d get too paranoid to get out their cars….

Spideydog 1:09 pm 17 Jan 11

fgzk, is everything to do with Police a conspiracy?

If they didn’t do drug testing, then they have something to hide, if they do drug testing then there must be a huge drug problem in the AFP or it is a massive waste of tax dollars or its a conspiracy to pay medico companies massive dollars for testing …….

I especially liked the comment about why they aren’t willing to say it without an overtime payment !!!! If you had to come back into work on your holidays, I am sure you would like to be compensated for it.

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Do drug testing, its a conspiracy, don’t do it and then its the AFP with something to hide.

Pommy bastard 1:06 pm 17 Jan 11

Maybe iif more police got mellow they wouldn’t be out hassling like innocent civilians maaaan…

Tooks 1:05 pm 17 Jan 11

I don’t really get the point of drug testing people off duty, especially given most drugs won’t be detected in urine after a few days anyway. Don’t most people use ‘party drugs’ on their days off? Meaning the perfect time to test would be following a few days off. Maybe I’m missing something obvious.

fgzk 12:54 pm 17 Jan 11

Not even the same scrutiny as shown to our Bus drivers recent negotiations. How disappointing.

On face value these are the questions I have.

If as Jim Torr states “We don’t believe we have a problem with illegal drug use,” why increase the “millions” of tax payers money testing for it?

If “The association says its members are supportive of the proposal” why is it they hear about it through a media release?

“We’re willing to say to the AFP and the Australian public, we’re illegal drug-free all the time.” Why aren’t they willing to say this without an overtime payment?

“Mr Torr says both proposals would help build public confidence in the force.” Even the most cynical of us have not had the need to question drug use within the AFP. Why would these proposals increase our confidence when it does not even rate as a public concern?

Why would the association burden its members with drug testing policy that does not exists in any other Australian industrial agreement. A policy that even the public are not subject to the “arbitrator testing for illicit drugs”.

Why use the word “Random” when clearly this is a targeted against AFP officers only?

If the AFPA and senior police are so concerned about demonstrating accountability, would they be willing to disclose any financial involvement with bio-medical companies that conduct the testing?

Should the public (not that I believe they are really interested) demand this of state police forces?

What is the costing of these proposals?

Why specifically mention “party drugs”?

Eby 8:21 pm 16 Jan 11

I don’t think it would be appropriate to make it a condition of employment for other government departments.

My police mate welcomes the idea, because apparently they will get paid overtime if they have to do a drug test while off-duty – but they’re also not happy that they found out about it through the media, and were not even informed of the proposal by AFPA.

kylieonwheels 5:42 pm 16 Jan 11

Are they trying to convince members that they aren’t already on a DNA database? What a joke.

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