MANSFIELD, PA — Twenty-three state and local police officers successfully completed the first phase (72 hours) of training to become Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) at the Mansfield University Public Safety Training Institute. The training was conducted and sponsored by the Pennsylvania DUI Association.
The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) trains police officers to recognize when an individual has been driving under the influence of drugs and to identify the type of drug causing impairment. The DECP was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The Pennsylvania DECP was initiated in 2004. Upon completion of their initial training, officers are certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and become far more effective in identifying drug-impaired individuals.
Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the identification of the drug-impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement activities. For example, DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders. Certified DREs are a valuable resource in combating the adverse impact of drugs in the communities we serve.
The class, consisting of 13 Pennsylvania State Troopers and 10 officers from local police departments, will now begin the second phase of training. The second phase of training consists of the field-based application of the procedures learned during the first phase of training. Officers successfully completing the second phase of training will take a final knowledge examination.
Additional information regarding this program is available on the PA DUI website: https://padui.org/pa-decp/