Police unions are working tirelessly towards destroying any remaining shreds of respectability. Presumably, they once served a purpose roughly aligned with the public good. Now, they serve the singular purpose of ensuring our nation’s law enforcement agencies will always be forced to keep the abusive, incompetent officers on their payroll.

No entity has spoken out more frequently about the supposed damage body-worn cameras will do. Meanwhile, many officers appear to have made peace with the new technology, much as they had with dash cams. No entity has continued to voice its resistance to anything approaching accountability as vociferously as our nation’s police unions. If you want to see what’s wrong with today’s policing and why it won’t be changing anytime soon, all you have to do is spend a few minutes talking to a union rep.

Out in Pittsburgh, the local police union wants cops to be held to a lower standard than retail employees.

The union representing Pittsburgh police officers has filed a civil rights grievance against the city, claiming officers have been ordered to undergo drug and alcohol testing that is in violation of their contract.

The union tells Channel 11’s Rick Earle that the testing amounts to an illegal search and seizure that is not only in violation of the contract, but the Constitution as well.

Perhaps the union will be surprised to know that these supposed “Constitutional violations” occur daily at nearly every major employer. They are required before applicants are hired and random checks are often performed post-hire as well. Why the union feels police officers — who should hold themselves to higher standards than the average hourly worker — should be exempt from this extraordinarily common practice isn’t clear.

The only thing it offers in its defense is that the contract signed with the city only specifies three times cops can be tested: after firing weapons, being involved in a car accident, or are “suspected of being under the influence.” Why the additional testing of three officers involved in a car chase suddenly rises to the level of Constitutional violation is something only the union can suss out. And it seems to have confused “violated the terms of an agreement” with “violated officers’ Fourth Amendment rights.”

Because if the test is a violation of civil rights in this particular circumstance, then it’s a violation of rights even under the terms of the agreement. The union reps seem to have opted for drama, rather than accuracy, which is kind of standard operating procedure. I mean, it’s not as though the Pittsburgh PD needs to swear out a warrant to obtain the fluids requested in the circumstances permitted by the agreement.

Police officers should be subject to random drug and alcohol testing just like everyone else in the nation’s workforce. Considering most states tie implied consent to drug/alcohol testing to the issuance of drivers licenses, it’s really not too much to ask that people in powerful government positions be subject to the same expectations.


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