RAWALPINDI: Following police department’s directives to point out drug addicts among the force from the rank of constable to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), drug testing of the police force has started in Rawalpindi
According to a police spokesman, during the first phase drug test of senior police officers will be conducted in accordance with the international protocol.
The drug testing will be carried out at the district and traffic police headquarters and at the offices of SPs.
Priority will be given to police personnel who have been suspected of using drugs, the spokesman said on Sunday.
On part of the traffic police, chief traffic officer Rai Mazhar arranged drug testing of traffic personnel at the traffic police headquarters.
The CTO said the DSP headquarters was personally supervising the health profiling process to ensure transparency and if any traffic police officer or official was found involved in drug use strict departmental action will be taken against them leading to their dismissal.
No drug user will be part of Punjab police in future, says IGP
“No drug user will be a part of the Punjab police in future,” a handout issued from the office of the provincial police chief said.
“We have decided to conduct health profiling of police to make the process of accountability more effective so that black sheep involved in the use of drugs can be taken out of the force.”
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani feared that ‘habitual addicts’ in the police force were facilitating or participating in the activities of drug dealers.
The Punjab police chief has decided to conduct frequent psychological profiling and drug testing of police personnel that cause mental illness. Individuals with mental illness would not be given field posting.
The decision to keep a close watch on mental health of police personnel and drug users by ensuring their regular psychological profiling and referring cases of those declared medically unfit to a medical board was taken at a meeting recently chaired by the IGP.
One of the participants of the meeting told Dawn that policing was high stress profession that can cause mental health problems and some recent incidents of suicide involving police personnel had led to keep a close watch on mental problems of the personnel which could also be due to use of drugs.
“Now drug tests would also be conducted in addition to the psychological tests of mentally disturbed personnel, which also cause mental illness,” he said, adding ‘extremism’ is one of the factors which causes mental stress and this factor will also be looked into.
Another senior police officer with vast experience of imparting training said mental health and attitude had been emerging as a big issue in the police department which needed to be checked especially among senior officers who themselves were victims of critical behaviour.
“Whenever they are posted, their mental health and aptitude should be examined,” he said.
In Rawalpindi, the drug testing of police officers/officials is being carried out by the nursing staff of a private laboratory.
A senior doctor who did not wish to be named told Dawn that the drug testing will help expose individuals who had been using drugs or involved in such activities.
Similar exercises of psychological profiling of law-ranking police personnel had been conducted in 2014 after the assassination of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad by his bodyguard in 2011and after the killing of two brothers by ‘Muhafiz Squad’ in Rawalpindi in June 2015.
But it could not bring a change to the attitude of senior police officers towards their subordinates and the public.
In a latest move, the IGP has directed the divisional police chiefs to ensure regular psychological profiling and drug testing of their subordinates and refer cases of those declared medically unfit to a medical board.
Though drug testing of police personnel has been launched in Rawalpindi, psychological profiling of the police is yet to be initiated.
Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2021