EAST PALESTINE - The buck stops here. As local efforts to eliminate drug abuse continue, a drug testing policy is being implemented in the village.
The policy for all village employees will take effect Jan. 1 and includes pre-employment testing, random testing throughout the year, post accident and reasonable suspicion testing.
Police Chief Kevin Dickey said the decision to implement a policy for all employees came about after the department began looking into a policy for officers.
Until now drug testing has never been a requirement for village employees, he added.
As the police department looked into drug testing options Finance Director Traci Thompson found that the village could save a "substantial amount" of money on workers' compensation through drug testing all employees, he said.
Thompson said the village will receive a 7 percent premium discount for participating in the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Drug Free Safety Program.
According to its web site the bureau is offering the discount to eligible employers for implementing a loss-prevention strategy addressing workplace drug misuse, including alcohol and illegal drugs.
The program offers discounts based on basic or advanced level testing and the village has opted to participate in the advanced level, Thompson said.
Participating in the basic program would have resulted in a 4 percent premium discount.
Thompson said the village will also save roughly $15 per test by collecting their own samples. She, Dickey and Fire Chief Brett Todd will administer the tests.
A drug test costs approximately $49 before the savings and random tests throughout the year will be conducted on 15 percent of all employees, she said.