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Mandatory drug testing for gardaí to begin this year

The system is expected to come into effect in the third quarter of the year.

Image: Shutterstock/photopixel

GARDA MANAGEMENT HAVE decided to introduce mandatory drug testing for all garda members and staff, TheJournal.ie has learned. 

Under garda plans, the drug testing will be brought in during the third quarter of the year. Compliance with the new policy will be “mandatory” according to multiple sources.

The new policy will apply to gardaí, civilian garda staff and to police officers from the PSNI who have been seconded to the force here. 

Those who fail a drug test can be subject to a criminal investigation. They will also face disciplinary action up to, and including, dismissal from the force. 

One of the reasons the policy is being introduced is because gardaí who end up having difficulty with drug habits or addictions are easy prey for criminal gangs. Such garda members leave themselves open to blackmail or extortion. 

Gardaí confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the testing is being introduced. 

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A garda spokesman said:

“An Garda Síochána is progressing the introduction of a substance misuse (controlled drugs) testing programme within the organisation. The use of controlled drugs by Garda personnel is not tolerated. Possessing and supplying controlled drugs are criminal offences.

“An Garda Síochána has not conducted drug testing up to now.  However, any members suspected of the unlawful possession of drugs are fully investigated from a criminal and disciplinary point of view.”

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