Sunday, September 15, 2013

Arlington PD launching steroid testing after latest scandal

Earlier this year, Grits opined that it was, "Time for comprehensive steroid testing at Arlington PD," and now, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ("Arlington police will undergo random drug testing," Sept. 15), the Arlington City Council agrees. The story opened:
Arlington Police Department employees will undergo random drug and alcohol testing starting as early as next month after a federal investigation earlier this year involving possible illegal use of steroids by some officers.

The Arlington City Council has given initial approval for $60,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, to expand the department’s drug testing policy to include all 640 sworn police officers. Previously, the department only required testing for new hires, for officers receiving promotions or for employees working in specific areas where they regularly come in contact with drugs, such as the narcotics unit, property room or the jail.

In June, the FBI arrested 17-year veteran police officer Thomas S. Kantzos, who they said had accessed law-enforcement-only databases to tip off a dealer from whom he had been buying steroids for himself and other officers for years that he was under police surveillance.

A second officer questioned by federal investigators, David Vo, committed suicide the day Kantzos was arrested. A third officer, Craig Hermans, resigned from the department in August after being placed on paid administrative leave in connection with the investigation.
Arlington PD has struggled with this issue for years. This was long overdue.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most departments have an unspoken policy which allows or even encourages officers to use steroids. Houston police have been known for decades to tolerate steroid use among its corps. Take a look at Officer Stefan Riha for an example. His photo shows all the signs of steroidal abuse including the acne: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8111539

And let's not ever forget the Houston police officer named Scott Tschirhart who over a period of seven years during the 1980s shot to death three black men in circumstances that led to protests and a grand jury investigation. . It was well known to his fellow officers that Tschirhart was a user of anabolic steroids, and they had watched the drugs transform him as a bodybuilder and as a policeman. “The bigger he got … the worse he got about strutting around and bragging,” a veteran officer recalled. “You could really see him changing.” But the Houston Police Department had no policy against steroid use, so no one intervened until the third fatal shooting provoked the department to investigate this officer’s unusually violent career.

For more on cops and their usage of steroids: http://thinksteroids.com/articles/dopers-uniform-cops-steroids/

Anonymous said...

Fort Worth also needs to look at testing for alcohol and prescription drugs,too many cops from Fort Worth making headlines shown to be medicated on the job.

Anonymous said...

6:16AM...WE ARE A MEDICATED SOCIETY. HOW FAR DO WE NEED TO EXPAND THIS SORT OF TESTING AND TO WHAT PROFESSIONS OTHER THAN LAW ENFORCEMENT?

DOCTORS, NURSES, PILOTS, LAWYERS, AMUSEMENT RIDE OPERATORS,DAY CARE WORKERS, TEACHERS, ENGINEERS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, ETC.

Anonymous said...

Another issue is created by drug testing. If it is going to be done it needs to be done in a hospital or actual lab setting. All of this testing by employers, Probation departments, and other non lab settings is risky and results can be questionable. you end up with people taking and handling samples even though they haven't been fully trained and how to do that appropriately. Most of the forms have a place for the employee to sign indicating that the employees saw all appropriate protocols big taken by the employer. In actuality they didn't see that and haven't even read that portion of the form before they sign

Gritsforbreakfast said...

6:56, I care far less about steroid use among those other professions than police. The biggest problem - as long as steroids are illegal - is that cops must participate in a black market to secure them and thus compromise their integrity as a peace officer, risk blackmail, etc..

Make me philosopher king and I'd let consenting adult take steroids, be they athletes, doctors, teachers or cops - after all, who didn't love baseball's home run era, while it lasted? But as long as steroids are a black market product, you can't tolerate cops doing them.

Simon Haskell said...

Luckily, enough time has passed that everyone should now ace those drug tests.

Ronnie Coleman was a memember of the APD when he won Mr Olympia.

Anonymous said...

Simon said it.

Wait long enough to implement a program and boom everyone is clean. Look America, it 'was' an isolated incident and we took the lead to test our own.

While it may indeed be long over due, I'm still gonna call bullshit, due to the attempt to fool the entire public with a fake wait-n-testing. This should have been done by the DOJ or FBI the very week of the suicide (or day that a potential witness got bumped off?). When cops become criminals and bulk up in a year or less, no one gives a shit until it hits the fan.

In closing, Did you hear the one about - the Arlington P.D. convincing the Arlington City Council to spend $60K of Arlington's taxes on drug testing the very people we entrust to Serve & Protect?

Anonymous said...

Seems like the cost of the "Test" should be the responsibility of the individual. The servant should be out of uniform and not arrive in a law enforcement vehicle on piss-day and not allowed to build repores with piss colectors.

And since the entire barrel is being cleaned out in order to re-fill it with clean(er) public servants, it should be considered as a tax deductable business expense incurred as a public servant.

Anonymous said...

To the good cop on break that happens upon this posting (that includes the not so good ones that look the other way). Now you know what it feels like when your coworkers arrest folks just for being with someone that rightfully needs to be arrested. Not so funny when the guilt by association joke is on the cops is it?

You know, the ones with no contraband, no weapons. But the need for that pat on the back for bringing them all down is too strong to fight. Sadly, when you arrest the wrong person, he / she ends up not being able to afford a real lawyer and gets probation. Never mind the fact that he / she lost a job and has everyone thinking about hiding the china when the Criminal comes to visit.

Anonymous said...

Grits, do you think that this will have any effect on the Blue Wall of Silence (uniformed orgainized criminal activity being ignored by coworkers, Grand Juries & D.As'. Offices)?

We can only hope that the good cops might have had enough of this and might take this op to tear it down.

Darn it, I just thought about Arbritraitors and the magic wands that make it all go away. Oh, well, never mind.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:37am I can't tolerate anyone in an entrusted position illegally dabbling in steroids.