Arlington Police Move Forward With New Drug-Testing Policy

Suspended officer admitted to brief steroid use in application

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Arlington Police Departtment is moving forward with plans for a tough new drug policy in the wake of a steroid scandal that rocked the department. NBC 5's Mola Lenghi obtained APD appliations for officers at the center of the investigation. (Published Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013)

    The Arlington Police Department is in talks with labor representatives about a new drug testing policy in wake of a steroid scandal that rocked the department.

    The new rules would include random drug testing on the entire police department -- officers, as well as support staff.

    It comes less than a month after Officer Thomas Kantzos was arrested and later fired after being implicated in a steroid operation.

    Investigators said Kantzos tipped a drug dealer to inside information about police activity.

    A second officer under investigation in the case, David Vo committed suicide shortly after being arrested.

    Officer Craig Hermans is also under investigation in the case. He is currently under suspension but faces no criminal charges at this time.

    According to the APD employment applications of the officers under investigation, Hermans admitted to prior steroid use.

    In his application, he said he took steroids for less than a week in his freshman year of college because he "was skinny and had low self-esteem." After six doses, he "stopped and never did it again," he said.

    When reviewing an application, prior use of a drug does not necessarily disqualify an applicant, APD said. If an applicant admits to prior drug use, the hiring committee will consider the type of drug, the frequency in which it was used and how much time had passed from the last time the applicant used the drug.

    In Hermans' case, the steroids were used 11 years before he applied to APD.

    A background check, in which possible prior drug use is disclosed by an applicant, is merely one element of an APD application. Applicants must also complete a thorough psychological, medical and physical evaluation, among other things, before progressing through the hiring process.

    There was no mention of steroids in the applications of Kantzos and Vo.