Court Says Cop Can Be Canned For Lost Sense Of Smell

A Pennsylvania appeals court says a township is allowed to discharge an officer because he lost his sense of smell in an off-duty motorcycle accident.

The Commonwealth Court ruling issued Thursday upheld Collier Township's decision to honorably discharge Officer David Agostino.

The township near Pittsburgh says his lack of smell created a safety hazard. It says officers patrol alone and need to be able to detect drugs, alcohol, hazardous materials and natural gas leaks.

Agostino insists he's able to perform the job. He says a sense of smell isn't tested as part of the physical examination required to become a police officer.

The case is an appeal of a civil service commission decision to remove Agostino.


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  • by NC LEO Location: Eastern NC on Mar 29, 2009 at 05:36 AM
    Ok, being a cop, I will say that I use my sense of smell regularly at work. I could not imagine trying to do my job without it. But, I don't see why he couldn't still work. The smell of burnt marijuana, or alcohol on someone's breath is not what it is all about. That is a small part of what we do as cops.
  • by Buzz Location: Mill Creek on Mar 28, 2009 at 06:49 PM
    I didn't know you had to have a sense of smell to eat donuts and coffee. OK dont get mad I'm just joking, I'll bet after the dust settles, there will be more to this story than there is in this article. Buzz-
  • by mary Location: NC on Mar 28, 2009 at 06:01 PM
    The question seems to be was the accident his fault? Seems to me that they are using his sense of smell as a scapgoat more than a reason. He is right its not part of the exam to become an officer. I would fight it 100%. He can get a partner, or a dog to sniff for drugs. Just does not seem right. I smell loads of bull manure myself MrT.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Mar 28, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    Well , I can smell a load of bull manure all the way down here from up there.
  • by Kathy Location: Bath on Mar 28, 2009 at 10:14 AM
    I agree with officer Agostino, there is something wrong with that. I agree the since of smell should not have anything to do with his job. If he is performing is job like he is suppose to. If I was him if they still would not let him have his job. I would sue them for it would be a handicap. I would not let it go. I wish him all the luck in the world.
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