One way to clean up the Department of Public Safety is to get rid of personnel who are found positive for using illegal drugs, according to DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero.
“I'm sorry, but it is just not the profession for anyone who is tested positive for drugs or any other [illegal] substance,” Deleon Guerrero said in an interview with reporters last week.
He said a drug testing program is too expensive and that he can never be assured 100 percent that a person who tests positive for drug use will not do it again.
He believes the solution is to put in place a law that will allow the department to release employees once they test positive for illegal drugs.
He disclosed that he has been talking this over with Rep. Chris Leon Guerrero (Covenant-Saipan), a former police officer who is also pushing for legislation to make drug testing mandatory at DPS.
Deleon Guerrero explained that DPS is part of the central government-a line item agency and not an autonomous one that can just create its own drug policy.
DPS bases its drug policy on Office of Personnel Management regulations.
Under the OPM's drug policy, if somebody were to voluntarily submit to a drug test and tests positive, the agency has to make that person undergo drug treatment, among other things.
“In essence, it affords a lot of rights to employees [to] get around what we would probably prefer not to do,” he said.
The commissioner said the testing being carried out at DPS right now is random.
Deleon Guerrero believes that DPS is one agency “that quite frankly” needs to be tested regularly for drugs so that they can determine who is actually clean and who is not.
“I'm hoping that legislation is introduced sometime soon. And we would like that legislation passed before Police Week this year, which is scheduled for May,” he said.
The commissioner stressed that it is not that nobody is being tested now, but the testing is not occurring as frequently as he would like it to be.