Police Commissioner Ramon Mafnas admitted yesterday the existence of drug abuse by some Department of Public Safety personnel and that he is now in the process of addressing this concern.
In fact, Mafnas said he will be requiring his command staff to march over to the laboratory for random drug testing.
He said he is not aware of how bad the drug use problem in the department is but knows it exists.
Mafnas said drug tests were conducted at DPS under the term of former commissioner Santiago Tudela and the “results were not pleasant.”
“It does exist and I hope to address that particular concern and help these people. I will give them the opportunity for counseling and treatment, especially those who admit to drug use,” he said.
As soon as his organizational restructuring at DPS is finalized, Mafnas said he will be issuing a directive to encourage all law enforcement officers, firefighters, and civilian staff to step forward if they are using drugs.
He wants these personnel to sign a declaration admitting their drug use and agreeing to undergo counseling and treatment.
“They will then agree to a voluntary drug test at their own expense after treatment and counseling. And then three months down the line, they will be again subjected to a drug test and another one again three months down the line,” he said.
If all drugs tests turn out negative, these employees will be retained; if results come back positive, they will be terminated, Mafnas said.
Those who refuse to step forward will be subjected to a drug test, as permitted by law or policy without violating the Civil Service Commission’s standards and policies.
Those whose tests will return positive, Mafnas said, will not be given the opportunity for treatment and counseling, as they will be immediately terminated
“We’re law enforcement officers. There should be no tolerance on drug abuse,” he said.
Mafnas encouraged all other personnel at DPS and in other departments to think about drug abuse and to assess and evaluate the consequences.
“Those who refuse to cooperate or help us help them, we would terminate them, following [Office of Personnel Management’s] recommendation and Civil Service,” he said.
Mafnas stressed that due process will be applied.
He said that drug use also happened at the Department of Corrections, but they managed to resolve the problem. “I’m also in the process of addressing this at DPS,” he added.