Chief says ruling on random drug testing doesn't make sense - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Chief says ruling on random drug testing doesn't make sense

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Yakima, WA -    Yakima Police Chief Sam Granato says an arbitrator's decision to reject random drug testing doesn't make any sense.

The city had been trying to implement a random testing policy for a couple of years now and the chief was a big supporter.

But the arbitrator said in his ruling yesterday that there was no need for it at the Yakima Police Department.

"He didn't seem to understand that we had three substance abuse issues in this department since I had been here," says Granato, "And he (the arbitrator) completely disregards, and says it clearly, the will of the people should not be considered."

This was binding arbitration so the city doesn't plan to appeal, but its already looking into lobbying state lawmakers in this next legislative session.

City Manager Dick Zais already mentioned it to State Senator Curtis King who is initially open to the idea.

"If you look at people who drive a commercial truck.  We don't want them under the influence driving these big rigs," says King used that as an example of precedent.

The City of Yakima is also looking at a voter referendum on random drug testing for officers.