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Westside Digest

Culver City : Drug Tests for City Workers

February 11, 1993

The City Council voted Monday to start a random drug testing program for some city employees. Currently, city managers keep tabs on possible drug abuse by approaching employees on a "reasonable suspicion" basis. If an employee shows signs of drug abuse, the manager can ask him or her to be tested.

The random testing would involve employees whose jobs affect public health and safety, such as police officers, paramedics and bus drivers. About 270 employees will be affected, Personnel Director Gordon Youngs said.

Employees to be tested will be picked by lottery, possibly starting May 1. Employees who test positive for illegal drug use will be put on probation and encouraged to seek help.

Councilman Albert Vera said he pushed for random testing because children who participate in DARE, the Police Department's anti-drug-use education program, must be shown that adults are also expected to "just say no."

"I believe it gives a message to students in school that we are the same as they are," Vera said.

The policy will also warn current and potential employees that illegal drug use will not be tolerated, he said.

The City Council directed staff to prepare the program, consult with the city's labor unions, and find the $60,000 necessary to pay for the program through a combination of grants, service group donations and city funds.

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