Jail to begin administering drug testing

By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

Logan County’s Detention Center will now be administering all drug testing for its inmates and employees effective immediately as part of the county’s Drug Free Workplace program. The fiscal court approved the action Tuesday with a four to two vote. An amendment to an ordinance will have to be made.

Logan Memorial Hospital has been serving as the agency to administer the testing, however, jailer Phil Gregory wishes to utilize his medical staff to cut down on the time it takes for each testing. There are usually over 200 inmates in the county detention center, along with 30 employees. Sending that many out to be tested is an immense task.

“Why not use what we have here?” said Gregory.

The Logan County Detention Center now has seven people trained as Workplace Specimen Collection Technicians. The Workplace Specimen Collection Technicians will be able to collect specimens and send the specimens to the appropriate laboratories depending on if it is an employee or an inmate that is being tested.

Drug tests done on employees will be sent to MEDTOX Laboratory, located in Minnesota, while drug tests on inmates will be sent to Clinical Reference Laboratory, located in Kansas, if challenged by the inmate.

The Logan County Detention Center also has seven people trained in Rapid Cup Training. The Rapid Cup training is used to read inmate drug tests. The center also has two deputies trained in Reasonable Suspicion and more to be trained, said Gregory. There are four portions to the training: alcohol training, drug training, employee training and supervisor training. The training will be instructed by Premier Integrity Solutions.

“The Logan County Detention Center is striving to meet the requirements for a Drug Free Workplace,” said Gregory. “We are continually striving to become more efficient. Time management is very important in a correctional facility.”

Magistrates Dickie Carter and Jo Orange are against the change at the detention center and do not understand why the court would change the way drug testing has been done in the past.

“I am concerned you will have people collecting urine samples who will have to take them themselves. I see this as a conflict of interest and the fox watching the hen house,” said Orange who voted no to the change.

Gregory told Orange the medical staff would administer the drug testing for inmates and their tests would be sent to separate labs outside the state.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said magistrate Thomas Bouldin. Judge Executive Logan Chick agreed.

“When you have that many inmates, time can become a problem,” said Chick. “It is a time constraint issue. If you have two people going for a test it could take a couple of hours. By doing it at the jail it cuts back on a lot of time.”

The detention center will be the only department in the county that will have the ability to administer drug testing.

“I don’t like it,” said magistrate Dickie Carter, who also voted no. “Don’t we have to amend an ordinance to allow this? He has been doing this since May. That makes it illegal.”

County attorney Joe Ross agreed the ordinance would have to be amended, but assured the court by voting to allow Gregory to administer the testing now until the amendment is made, would cover them legally.

By Chris Cooper


To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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