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Random drug tests trip 4 police officers

Clayton County Police Chief Greg Porter has dismissed four police officers, in connection with random drug tests.

According to Porter, three officers were fired within the last two months, because of positive drug-test results, and one officer resigned after being asked to take a drug test.

Porter explained that three of the individuals were Clayton police officers, and the other person worked for Clayton County Animal Control, which is connected to the police department.

He said the tests were given in September, after he took office as chief.

"I want to assure the level of service that Clayton County residents deserve," he said., adding that the implementation of the drug-test process was a measure the department had been putting together for quite some time. According to the police chief, the drug tests are performed a private lab, in Fayette County.

"We need to have people who are suitable for the position of a police officer," he said.

The last officer, who was terminated last Wednesday, was initially suspended, because the test was diluted, according to Porter, who expressed disappointment in the officers who were dismissed.

"I have been in law enforcement for 26 years, and it is disappointing to know such actions still exist in such a profession," he said.

Individuals are selected randomly, the Clayton County Information Technology Department, Porter said. He added that the IT department selects the names and gives the list to the police department.

"They [the selected officers] have to be at the lab within a certain time period," he explained. "Officers have to adhere to the protocol."

According to Porter, about 45 officers were tested in September.

Porter said that the police department will continue with the random tests.

"I asked to be put into the next [drug-testing] process, even if my name is not selected," he added.