The chief of Phnom Penh police yesterday announced that police officers in the capital must undergo a drug test in order to identify addicts in the police force.
Speaking to hundreds of senior police officials at the Municipal Police Headquarters yesterday, Lieutenant General Sar Thet said the test will soon be carried out.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay respect to the national anthem with more than 600 police officers,” Lt Gen Thet said. “I ask that our police officers be clean and not be involved in drugs.”
“We will do urine tests very soon, beginning with senior police officials at the municipal police headquarters and ending with those stationed in commune police posts,” he added. “We are currently purchasing urine testing equipment to carry this out.”
Lt Gen Thet noted that law enforcement officers must respect the law and that good behaviour should be an example for the public.
“I have specific purpose to push our police officers to work effectively,” he said. “They are law enforcement officers, they must be role models for the people.”
Contacted via telephone after his speech, Lt Gen Thet said police officers who fail the test will face disciplinary action.
“If they are drug addicts, then we will send them to a rehabilitation centre,” he said. “Those involved in drug trafficking will be prosecuted.”
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said police officers should be tested for drugs.
“It’s about time for law enforcement officers to show how clean to the public through urine tests,” Mr Chey said. “If an officer uses drugs then the officer should be punished just like normal people.”
The initiative to test for drugs is part of an action plan drafted by Lt Gen Thet during a National Authority for Combatting Drugs workshop in March.
According to the NACD, during the first four months of this year, authorities cracked down on 2,166 drug cases, arrested 4,689 suspects and seized 322 kilograms of various drugs.