Thanks to a lengthy exposé by the Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey lawmakers have introduced bills that would require random drug testing for anabolic steroids among law enforcement agencies, and health evaluations before prescriptions for steroids can be issued.
Last month the Star-Ledger ran a great story about how one doctor, Joseph Colao, illegally supplied "hundreds" of cops and firefighters with steroids and human growth hormones. The story forced the Jersey City police union to consider a more rigorous testing regimen, and now the state Assembly is on the verge of passing the toughest (and possibly first) laws requiring testing and health evaluations in the country. The chairman of the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University, Larry Gaines welcomes the proposed bill, but mostly for legal reasons, because cops don't really get roid rage:
Aggression is not very common but nonetheless it's a possible problem," Gaines said. "If it does occur, you could see lawsuits against police departments regarding citizens injured from steroid rage."
Hmm. Yeah, it's really hard to imagine an overworked cop with a chip on his shoulder, who also just had his partner inject steroids into his ass cheeks, getting pissed off and beating someone's ass. How absurd! And what did the Star-Ledger find in its investigation?
In just over a year, records show, at least 248 officers and firefighters from 53 agencies used Colao's fraudulent practice to obtain muscle-building drugs, some of which have been linked to increased aggression, confusion and reckless behavior.
Six of those patients - four police officers and two corrections officers - were named in lawsuits alleging excessive force or civil rights violations around the time they received drugs from him or shortly afterward.
Others have been arrested, fired or suspended for off-duty infractions that include allegations of assault, domestic abuse, harassment and drug possession.