Brockton Firefighters Won't Be Tested for Marijuana Use

A Massachusetts community is putting the finishing touches on a new drug policy for firefighters, but one drug will not be on the list.

Under the new policy, any Brockton firefighter who is caught using illegal drugs would be subject to random drug tests in the future.

"Most are positive, there was a couple raised eyebrows over this," said Brockton Fire Chief Michael Williams, of the policy.

The three-year deal was born out of a year-and-a-half debate between the city and the fire department.

Drugs covered under the deal include cocaine, heroin and prescription pill abuse. Not covered is marijuana.

"Recreational marijuana is here, the law has been passed, so I don't think it was critical to the policy," said Brockton Mayor William Carpenter. "Is the policy perfect? Not necessarily, but I think it is pretty good."

Firefighters will not be tested at random, but rather only if a supervisor has "reasonable suspicion the firefighter is under the influence."

"Four firefighters go out on an engine to answer a call, if one of them is not right, the other three are at risk," Carpenter explained.

City officials are now negotiating a similar deal with the police department.

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