DOA conducts agency-wide drug test of DepCor - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DOA conducts agency-wide drug test of DepCor

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Normally it's members of the Special Operations Response Team and Internal Affairs that conduct sweeps at the Department of Corrections, but today the Department of Administration conducted its own sort of sweep.

It's rare you'll ever find all of the employees of DepCor, both uniform and civilian, at the Mangilao compound. But today was one of those days, as all 196 employees of the agency were called to work today. "What I had asked going for almost a year, please DOA keep us on top of your priorities to ensure that we do drug testing for DOC simply because of the environment that we work in," explained DepCor director Jose San Agustin. He says DOA notified him on Tuesday of the 100% drug testing for today.

He continued, "Of course, I'm a supporter of the drug-free workplace. The governor and lieutenant governor had made it very clear that they want to make sure that they hold every agency accountable especially public safety when you're dealing with criminals and dealing with people."

While drug testing is normally conducted randomly, San Agustin says it was DOA's call for the 100% testing. And that applied to those who were on leave or who called in sick today. "Because we already decided that today is the drug testing, I went ahead and had those people recalled  so that they could go out and get that drug testing over with and send them on their way," San Agustin said. When asked what happens to those who failed to come in, the director replied, "Actually, if they don't come in, I have to take immediate action to consider what's going on. I will consider that the issue at hand whether the individuals illness for not coming in is reasonable. I'll have to take that up with the person one on one. But again I do have to follow DOA protocols. I'll take each case on each reason."

San Agustin stresses that the 100% testing isn't tied to the recent incidences of cell phones and contraband being found within the prison and inmates testing positive for drugs.  He says today's events will just ensure a clean sweep of all DepCor employees as there have been some inferences of officer involvement. "That's somewhat true to this point but until then we're doing an internal investigation into those issues but until then we have to find some substantial proof to tie them together," he said.

The department will now have to wait for the test results and if someone tests positive, as San Agustin said, "Zero tolerance is zero tolerance. normally if someone pops positive and it's not medication that's been prescribed that make them pop positive, then I have to take that particular situation in consideration on one on one."

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