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Criminal Justice Update

Academy applicants to take expanded drug screen


As of Jan. 1, two prescription opioids will be added to the drug screen for applicants to Ohio’s peace officer basic training academies.

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) voted in May to include oxycodone and hydrocodone in the admission screening. The additions were made to fall in line with an update in the federal guidelines of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The original drug screen for training applicants, which took effect July 1, 2016, was based on the SAMHSA model.

If an applicant tests positive, he or she will have an opportunity to show a prescription to explain the presence of the drug, said Mary Davis, executive director of OPOTC.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who urged OPOTC to adopt uniform precertification standards for applicants as recommended by the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training, supports the expansion of the drug test.

“Prospective law enforcement officers need to be healthy, which means drug-free,” De­Wine said. “By passing both the drug screen and the pre-entrance physical fitness test, an applicant shows that he or she is prepared to face the challenges of a basic training academy.”

Drugs included in the new test:

  • Acetylmorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Oxycodone
  • MDA
  • Phencyclidine