Tennessee Police Chief Says Failed Drug Test a Mistake

Spring Hill, Tennessee Police Chief John Smith wants his townspeople to know that he hasn’t fallen victim to the perils of prescription drug abuse — despite a recent positive drug test that could have cost him his job. The Tennessean reports that Smith recently failed a randomly-administered drug test after testing positive for codeine. Smith said that he took pain pills for a flare-up of a back injury that required surgery last year but could not provide proof of the prescription.

The city could have terminated Smith’s contract over the failed drug test but instead chose to be more lenient. He will be required to take (and pass) additional random drug tests and undergo counseling through a drug rehab program during the next year — all at Smith’s expense.

The situation is particularly sensitive for residents of Spring Hill. Williamson County Sheriff Ricky Headley was arrested two years ago for illegally obtaining painkillers from a Nashville pharmacy, leading to him going into addiction treatment.