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Drug Recognition Experts

Recently Officer Shanks and Officer Gentry
completed the requirements of the DRE Program (Drug Recognition Expert). The
Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) program began in the early 1970s in
Los Angeles, California. The program was designed to assist in incidents where
an officer suspect's that an individual is impaired but the individual has
little or no alcohol concentrations. The program utilizes a variety of
interviews, observations and test to determine a drug category that is causing
impairment.  With success, the program has continued to expand to other
states and eventually into Canada and other countries. All 50 states, plus the
District of Columbia, are participating in the program in the United States. In
addition, Canada participates in the DEC Program. Other countries, such as the
United Kingdom, also have certified DREs. Currently there are 6500 DREs and
1500 DRE Instructors in the United States.  To be accepted to the program,
the officer must have prior approval from the International Association of
Chiefs of Police.  Prior to the recent class, Alabama had 14 DRE Officers.
 The recent class started with 17 Officers from different agencies
throughout the State Of Alabama.  Of the 17 that started the class, only 9
were able to successfully complete the program.  The class consisted of 2
weeks in Selma, AL and the final week, officers worked in Jacksonville, FL
where they conducted a minimal of 12 evaluations with at least 4 different
categories of drugs and completed a comprehensive final knowledge exam.
 With the graduation of this class, Officer Shanks and  Officer Gentry
will be able to not only assist the Prattville Police Department but also other
agencies in our area when the necessity arises.  There are now 22 DRE
Officers in the State of Alabama with two being from Prattville.