A veteran Kankakee city police officer assigned to the area’s drug task force has been suspended for abusing steroids, The Daily Journal has learned.
Paul Berge, who is currently assigned to the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, is being accused of taking illegal performance-enhancement drugs.
Police Chief Larry Regnier said he would not comment on personnel issues. Don Harsy, director of KAMEG, has not returned a call for comment.
Police sources say Berge was suspended after his girlfriend blew the whistle on his drug use.
Most departments by now have random drug testing but details of Berge’s case is unknown because police officials will not comment on it.
Risks of steroid use among cops include many of the variables that impact civilian lives, including aggression, mood swings and unreasonable emotional responses to situations.
According to a January 2014 article in Police Chief magazine, the FBI began warning of steroid use among cops more than 20 years ago.
“Anabolic steroid abuse by police officers is a serious problem that merits greater awareness by departments across the country,” the FBI said at the time.
“Although the traditional reason for the use of [steroids] is to improve athletic performance, [steroids] also appeal to officers wanting a tactical edge or an intimidating appearance,” the article noted.