Police officers, prison guards and firefighters. All are public servants
who stick their necks out in order to protect the public. Some of them
are sticking out extra-thick necks, however.
Those muscular necks, arms and chests are in some cases enhanced by the
use of illegally obtained steroids, according to an investigative report
by the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
Steroids require a prescription, but an
illegal market for the potent drugs exists among users who want to build muscles
or heal more quickly from injuries.
NorthJersey.com reports that New Jersey officials claim to be unable to
figure out who among their employees are on illegal steroids.
The reports show cops, prison guards and firefighters went to a particular
doctor who wrote prescriptions for the illegal drugs. In all, 248 law
enforcement officers and firefighters obtained fraudulent prescriptions.
Of that total, seven are members of the Bergen County Sheriff's Department,
according to the report. Seven members of the Paterson Police Department
and 18 police officers in Passaic County also obtained drugs via the doctor.
The doctor has since died. Interestingly, a Passaic business is alleged
to have picked up the slack since his death and is now supplying steroids
to the public employees.
The state Attorney General's office guidelines call for testing public
workers for illegal recreational drugs such as cocaine and marijuana,
but not for steroids.
Part of the reason there's no testing for steroids is that the tests
themselves are pricey: $10,000 each, according to one official.
Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire said he can't single out officers
for testing merely because they're muscular.
He also noted that the published report didn't name the officers allegedly
using the drugs.
Said McGuire, "...as the person in charge of the sheriff's office,
[I] cannot go on a witch hunt just because of blanket allegations."
A number of observers have expressed alarm over the report. Steroids are
known to make many users more aggressive and in some cases, violent.
Source: NorthJersey.com: "Cops on steroids hard to spot": December 14, 2010