By PoliceOne Staff
HAMILTON, N.J. — A new state strategy unveiled Thursday to combat illegal steroid use by New Jersey police allows departments to test officers for steroids.
Police chiefs will be left with the decision of whether to perform drug tests, allowing the tests but not requiring them. Under the current policy, steroids are not on the list of drugs that can be tested.
"The costs, frankly, are and can be prohibitive," state Attorney General Paula Dow told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We think it's a balanced approach, addressing the costs involved but putting out the real message that we'll be looking at you."
The testing is part of a new plan unveiled Thursday to combat illegal steroid use by law enforcement. An investigation by The Star-Ledger of Newark found that hundreds of officers and firefighters have been using government benefits to pay for muscle-building drugs, CBS New York reported.
Each officer has their own reason for using the drugs, said William Nally, president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police told CBS New York. “Everybody wants to get ahead. They want to be the best.”
Those who test positive will need a doctor's letter saying there's a legitimate medical reason for steroids or hormones.
Aside from serious medical risks, steroid misuse also can lead to dramatic mood swings, hostility, and elevated levels of aggression, or "'roid rage," Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, said.
Firefighters, who do not report to the attorney general, will not be affected by the new rules.