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Many N.C. Police Agencies Don't Drug Test Officers Involved in Shootings

July 23, 2015  | 

In most cases, a North Carolina police officer, sheriff's deputy, or state trooper is more likely to face a drug test after wrecking a cruiser than after shooting someone, reports the Greensboro News & Record.

A query of 10 North Carolina law enforcement agencies found that only two agencies require drug or alcohol testing following the use of deadly force, including in incidents that are fatal.

Whether an agency chooses to require drug or alcohol testing is up to the individual departments, said Eddie Caldwell, the director of the N.C. Sheriffs' Association.

"You can argue it either way," Caldwell said. "Somebody can make the point that after a tragedy the officers ought to be drug tested. You can also make the argument that if you have a good officer who has never had any sign of impairment, that you can undermine their integrity."

Officials with the Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh and Winston-Salem police departments said they do not automatically conduct drug or alcohol tests on officers involved in uses of deadly force. Neither do the Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham county sheriff's offices.

The Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department automatically requires testing any time a gun is fired in the line of duty and conducts testing after any incidents that involve a death or an officer needs medical attention beyond first aid, according to its policies.


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