The prevalence of workplace substance abuse testing and factors that influence policy in medium and large Illinois municipal police agencies
This research examined the prevalence of medium and large Illinois municipal police agencies' participation in workplace drug abuse and alcohol testing, the types of testing policies, and the factors that influenced such policies. Although drug testing in the workplace is a growing workplace organization concern, there are few data on municipal police workplace drug testing. Of 172 Illinois municipal police agencies surveyed, 128 (74%) responded. One hundred twelve (97.4%) of the respondent agencies conduct preemployment testing. Postemployment substance abuse testing policies rely heavily on for-cause testing (93%). Municipal police agency leaders cited their leadership role as the most prevalent factor (74.8%) in implementing drug and/or alcohol testing policies. Respondents identified collective bargaining (61.5%) as the most prevalent factor associated with the absence of drug or alcohol testing. A comparative analysis was conducted to examine testing policies and policy factor relationships between medium and large agencies. There was no statistically significant relationship when analyzing factors influencing policy presence using chi-square, although there were similarities in the descriptive statistics. The research indicates that most large and medium agencies have deployed some form of preemployment drug or alcohol testing. However, the results suggest a greater need to examine the use of and perhaps deployment of postemployment testing instead of relying on observation or reported incidents.
0617: Public administration