Sheriff’s office will now do pre-employment drug testing

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Tuesday, the Mower County Board of Commissioners approved a change that will now require all new employees of the Mower County Sheriff’s Office to undergo drug testing.

The sheriff’s office did not previously do pre-employment drug testing. Sheriff Terese Amazi said drug testing was done based on suspicion.

All new employees at the Mower County Sheriff’s office will now need to undergo drug testing before being hired.

Email newsletter signup

The testing will be done in accordance with the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act.

A key reason to make the change now is the policy is in place for the new hirings at the new jail once it’s complete.

“It seemed like it was a prudent time to enact drug testing — pre-employment. There are many positions out there that already do it, and it just made sense to start it now,” she said.

The sheriff’s department has also modified the application process. Some new employees, including jailers, are now required to pass a basic skills test. The test will include addition and subtraction questions, some corrections questions and an essay.

Violations of the drug policy can lead to disciplinary action, including firing.

Current employees will not be tested if they’re promoted within the department, but Amazi said employees can be tested if there’s cause.

New employees currently undergo pre-employment drug testing at the Austin Police Department.