Update: Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson agrees.
Original post: There were a lot of surprising details that emerged as the feds were filing criminal charges against Arlington police officer Thomas Kantzos. There was the casual way Kantzos tipped off his steroid dealer, scuttling another agency's investigation, and the detail about him allegedly taking delivery of a drug shipment in his squad car, while he was on duty. There was the death of David Vo, the 34-year-old who shot himself near his home as the FBI closed in.
But there are bad apples and suicides everywhere. What was more shocking was just how many of Arlington's finest are allegedly doing steroids.
Yesterday's criminal complaint doesn't give any hard numbers, but it does say, almost in passing, that Kantzos was supplying several colleagues and that several more were buying the drugs from dealers of their own. The impression, which is inescapable, is that steroid use -- which is illegal, last we checked -- is rampant in the Arlington PD.
Maybe that revelation shouldn't have come as such a surprise. Grits for Breakfast points out today that Arlington has a history with the drug. One officer who was fired from the department after getting caught with steroids following a domestic dispute was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled in her favor.
Then there was a case in which a Plano dealer admitted to selling product to officers in five North Texas cities, including Dallas and Arlington, before winding up murdered. There's also plenty of evidence to suggest that law enforcement officers in general are prone to steroid use.
"Given that record, perhaps it's time for Arlington PD to begin immediate, comprehensive steroid testing of its police officers," Grits writes. "These episodes keep cropping up over and over. Why not react more aggressively?"
It's a good question.