April 6 2016

Police Sergeant Completes Training in Identifying Drivers Under the Influence


A member of the Burlington Police recently completed a training program intended to help the department keep the town’s streets safe. 

Chief Michael Kent said he was pleased to announce that Burlington Police Sgt. Gerard McDonough completed training earlier this month to become a certified a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). 

His certification was achieved through the International Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program, a release states. Broken into three phases, police received advanced training on identifying drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Each attendee spent at least nine hours a day in the classroom to refine practices for detecting impaired drivers. This includes appearance, behavior, judgment, information processing ability, coordination and more.

"Sgt. McDonough's completion of this rigorous course enhances our ability as a department to identify impaired drivers in town," Chief Kent said. "His training will allow us to better serve and protect our residents, especially while on the roads."

The International Association of Chiefs of Police coordinates the DEC Program with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the release states. Burlington Police obtained a grant from the Municipal Police Training Council through the Executive Office of Public Safety's Office of Grants and Research, Highway and Traffic Safety Division to attend the course.

The first two phases of the program ran from Feb. 29 through March 4 in Franklin, Mass., and the third phase was completed in Phoenix, Ariz. from March 27 through April 1.

Phase One: Police complete a 16-hour overview of the DRE evaluation procedures, the seven drug categories, eye examinations and proficiency in conducting standardized field sobriety testing.

Phase Two: A 56-hour DRE school focuses on drug evaluation procedures, expanded sessions on each drug category, drug combinations, examination of vital signs, case preparation, courtroom testimony and curriculum vitae preparation. At the conclusion of the seven days of training, officers must successfully finish a written examination before moving to the third and final phase of the program.

Phase Three: Police complete a minimum of 12 drug evaluations under the supervision of a trained DRE instructor. Of those 12 evaluations, the officer must identify an individual under the influence of at least three of the seven drug categories and obtain a minimum 75 percent toxicological corroboration rate. The officer must then pass a nine-hour final examination and be approved by two DRE instructors before becoming a certified DRE.

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