Cops who drink on the job stand to lose big under a new testing plan.
The terms of a newly ratified five-year contract subject Chicago Police lieutenants and captains to random alcohol testing in general, mandatory drug and alcohol testing whenever they fire their weapons, and wont be allowed to drink four hours before going on duty, the Sun-Times reports.
If a cop tests positive during one of the random tests they’ll face a “sliding scale” of disciplinary actions.
“Lieutenants and captains whose random Breathalyzer tests range from .02 to .04 will be taken off-duty that day, retested the following day and randomly tested for the next six months" said Jim Franczek, the city’s chief labor negotiator. "If they stay straight thought that probationary period, their records will be wiped clean, “
An officer who tests positive again, will face disciplinary action by the Internal Affairs Division.
While Chicago Police officers are arrested for DUI’s at a far lower rate than the general population as a whole, a few high profile cases have put police alcohol abuse on the political radar.
Who can forget Anthony Abbate, whose 2006 beating of a petite, female bartender – caught on tape - made headlines around the world. Weeks after that, some off duty officers were involved in a brawl at a West Loop bar. Add to that a list of deadly DUI related crashes involving police officers last year.
The Chicago Police Department denies these incidents spurred the contract changes. The department says the changes will simply put Chicago in line with other large agencies across the country.
Contract changes passed a city committee Monday and will be recommended for full passage by the council on Wednesday.