‘One-strike rule’ eyed for law enforcers

If Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian) has his way, the CNMI would have zero tolerance for law enforcers who use illegal drugs. In fact, he wants a “one strike and you’re out” statute for law enforcers.

Toward this end, Hofschneider introduced last week a bill that will give no second chances if a law enforcement officer is found positive for illegal drug use, which means instant termination for the offending officer.

Senate Bill 20-51 seeks to establish a “zero tolerance, one-strike rule” for law enforcement personnel in the CNMI who test positive for drug use.

The bill states that, according to Public Law 18-47, law enforcement officers must submit to random drug tests to rid the enforcement offices of drug use. In conjunction with the bill, any law enforcement officer who tests positive for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidines “shall immediately be terminated.”

“Any law enforcement officer…who tests positive for the use of a controlled substance shall be immediately dismissed of their employment,” states the bill.

The bill has yet to be voted on by the Senate, but a member of the House of Representatives has been vocal of his support on social media.

There is already a law that requires government employees to undergo drug tests. Public Law 18-47 mandates that randomly selected employees must surrender to breath tests for alcohol and urine tests for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.

The employees would be selected by random methods such as a random number table or a computer-based random number generator that is matched with an employee’s social security number, payroll ID number, or others.

While PL 18-47 fails to specify the sanction if a law enforcement officer is found positive for drugs, SB 20-51 seeks to rectify that.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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