18 Mar 2009

More work needed on mandatory testing, say police

2:20 pm on 18 March 2009

Police say more work needs to be done before they can implement a policy of testing officers for drug and alcohol after involvement in incidents such as shootings.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is recommending mandatory testing following what it calls critical incidents.

The recommendation came in a report which exonerates the police over the fatal shooting of Steven Wallace in Waitara in 2000.

It found there was no evidence the officer had been drinking but testing would have removed any suspicion.

Assistant Police Commissioner Viv Rickard told Nine to Noon there is general agreement with this, but he noted it could affect police in rural areas who have a beer after work and are later called out for a crisis.

He said one solution might be for such officers still to still turn up but relinquish decision making power to others. However, more debate was needed.