Senior Police managers' Views on Integrity Testing, and Drug and Alcohol Testing
Purpose - To ascertain the attitudes of senior police managers toward the deployment of integrity tests, and drug and alcohol tests, in misconduct prevention. Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire-based survey was conducted of 114, mainly Australian, senior police managers. Findings - Responses revealed very high levels of support for targeted testing in more serious cases of suspected corruption. There was also moderate support for random testing in serious cases. Views were divided on both targeted and random testing in less serious cases. There was very strong support for alcohol and drug testing. Overall, the results show willingness on the part of police leaders to embrace radical measures to combat corruption. Originality/value - Integrity tests involving simulated misconduct opportunities, and related drug and alcohol testing programs, have been used in a number of jurisdictions as a means of revealing and deterring police corruption. However, such tests have been criticised as being unethical, especially in terms of "entrapment". There are also practical issues regarding allocating scarce resources to a testing program and potential pitfalls with unintended consequences such as conflicts and injuries. Policy level decisions to develop testing programs will therefore depend to a considerable extent on the beliefs of senior managers about the utility and fairness of these strategies.
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management