NYPD union sues Adams administration over new 'zero tolerance' policy on steroid use among cops


New York City’s largest cop union is suing Police Commissioner Edward Caban and Mayor Adams for implementing a new “zero tolerance” policy on NYPD officers using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, the Daily News has learned.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, lawyers for the Police Benevolent Association alleged the previously undisclosed policy flies in the face of a legal agreement the union entered into with the city in 2011.

The 2011 contract prohibited officers from ingesting or possessing any anabolic steroid or other forms of human growth hormones without a medical prescription. However, the old standard didn’t require officers to run any such prescription by their NYPD district surgeon before starting to use it.

The new protocol — which was enacted on Dec. 26, 2023, and described in an internal memo reviewed by The News as a “zero tolerance drug policy” — beefs up the old rule by affirming that officers must “immediately notify their district surgeon” of any steroid prescription they receive and provide “all supporting medical documentation” to the surgeon backing up the need for the drug.

If officers are caught violating the new rule by, for example, deviating from a prescribed dosage, they can face firing, the memo says.

The PBA’s lawsuit alleges the new protocol is illegal because it “unilaterally” revokes the 2011 standard without bargaining.

“In addition, defendants breached the 2011 contract by incorporating multiple provisions that deviate significantly from the originally agreed upon language of the 2011 order concerning new burdens it was placing on police officers,” charges the suit, which names the NYPD as a defendant, in addition to Adams and Caban.

It wasn’t immediately clear if any particular incident prompted the stricter steroid use rule.

The NYPD press office declined to comment on the new suit. Adams’ office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban delivers a speech to students and parents during the Police Commissioner for a Day 2024 Essay Contest Award ceremony at Police Headquarters on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban was named as a defendant in a lawsuit along with Mayor Adams and the NYPD. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

Anabolic steroids, which are illegal without a prescription, can speed up muscle growth and have been abused by athletes. Side effects can include severe mood swings and violent behavior.





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