A fire department in Massachusetts has agreed to force drug tests on firefighters suspected of drug use as part of a new contract agreement between the city of Brockton and the firefighter’s union, sources say.
Mayor Bill Carpenter and the Brockton Local 144 union agreed last week to the drug testing in the department’s annual budget hearing Thursday.
The drug testing will not be random and will only be conducted if there is suspicion of drug abuse.
“It is intended not to be punitive, but corrective,” said Brockton Chief Financial Officer John Condon. “It’s not random testing, but it is based on suspicion.”
Most imortantly, a 4-strike system will be emplaced to ensure that firefighters who want help can get the help they need.
“I think any employer with a couple hundred employees is going to periodically have an employee experience an issue with a substance abuse disorder, whether firefighters, dentists or DPW workers,” said Carpenter, speaking on Monday. “That’s just the reality of the world we’re living in today. Substance abuse disorders and addiction unfortunately are a fact of life.”
According to Wicked Local, there are 178 firefighters at the Brockton Fire Department.
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