Concerns that steroid abuse could lead to outbursts of rage by officers have led the Albuquerque Police Department to institute anabolic steroid testing for some officers.
Previously, APD had a random drug testing program for all officers, but steroid testing was only conducted on new officers as required by state law.
Under the new policy, police administrators can test any officer or civilian employee who demonstrates signs of steroid use.
"Under this new procedure, we need some sort of reasonable suspicion in order to test," Chief Ray Schultz told the Albuquerque Journal. "Change of behavior, their physical appearance or reliable information that they are users would be good enough for us to order the employee to take a test."
Requests for steroid testing must be approved by the department's human resources director. The requests must be made in writing and include detailed information as to why the request was made.
Once the request is approved the employee or officer must submit to the test. Refusal could result in termination.
There are no plans to include steroid testing in the department's random drug testing policy.
Albuquerque Police Officers' Association President Ron Olivas told the Albuquerque Journal that he was unaware of the policy. However, he said he was not opposed to it.
"I guess they don't have to consult us, but it would have been nice to know so we could inform our members," Olivas added. "We don't have a problem with it as long as there is something in place to ensure the officers' rights are protected, and they are not doing this without some sort of just cause."