Baltimore County's decision to begin random drug testing of its 1,581 sworn police officers and about 35 civilian employees handling sensitive law-enforcement duties is a prudent move that follows a region-wide trend.
As drugs have become more common in society, so have, regrettably, temptations. A drug-free force is a must, if police departments are to maintain the integrity of law-enforcement work and assure productive narcotics investigations.
Baltimore County's decision means every major police department in the area will soon be conducting random tests to detect drug use. Once the county program becomes operative in a few months, three people will be chosen each day for urine tests. An estimated 25 percent of the force will be tested each year. The Fraternal Order of Police, significantly, supports random testing. As its president put it, "we do not want to be perceived as drug users nor do we want to work beside someone who does (drugs)."