Regional Drug Training Course Concludes in Lamar

Officers in DRE Class Held in Lamar

Officers in DRE Class Held in Lamar

Do you need to be able to recognize illegal drugs on sight, or can you make a determination about the type of drug that has been used by observing a user?  The Drug Training Expert course, hosted by the Lamar Police Department, and attended by numerous law enforcement officers from the region, helps police officials recognize the type of drug being used and how best to cope with the user.

Boulder County Deputy Mark George

Boulder County Deputy Mark George

Deputy Mark George, Course Administrator from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, was conducting the two weeks of lectures at the Cultural Events Center and explained what the training was intended for, “Officers who pass the courses will be able to recognize signs of impairment, and at the same time, what steps to take if there’s a medical problem related to impairment behind the wheel.”

The officers will understand the ways drugs work in the human body and how to conduct the SFST’s or Standard Field Sobriety Tests in the alcohol labs.  “The students who take this already have some experience in the field, so for a lot of them, this is also a class to fine tune their expertise,” he explained.

“Officers will be able to recognize persons who have used heroin as their eye pupils will be constricted or users of cocaine or cannabis will have their pupils dilated as a clue,” he said.  There are 12 steps that are applied to ascertain how a person may be under the influence of an illegal drug, as well as for alcohol impairment, he added.  George said the Drug Recognition tests are conducted at a jail, as making a judgment along a highway is too dangerous and time consuming.

George said the officers have to go through a level of experience to qualify for the courses which are administered by several law enforcement agencies around the state, as well as CDOT.  “Once they complete this level of training, they are eligible to attend additional courses that will put them at a higher level of expertise.  He added that DRE students can save money as well, “They are able to suggest that only one or two types of tests could be required instead of running a very costly battery of tests to determine what kind of drug needs to be identified,” he said.

The students were from law enforcement agencies from around the state including Loveland, La Junta, Avon, Glenwood Springs, Pueblo County, Falcon and two officers from Lamar, Jason La Cost and Brandon Kemp.

By Russ Baldwin

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