We are very pleased to announce that two of our officers are newly trained Drug Recognition Experts! Officers Riedy and Sears completed 72 hours of classroom training and will now head to the 3rd phase of the program which is a field practical in Phoenix testing drugged people in the Maricopa County Jail. All of the training, including the practical is funded by a grant from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (thanks, Director Mike Prince!). Although Michigan was one of the very last states to adopt this 30 year old program (#48 out of 50), we are going strong now. Detective Jeramey Peters was instrumental in convincing State Police officials to adopt this program. (He is in the 2nd row, 2nd from right above) His efforts were recognized by MADD in 2017 with a special award.
This is important because we are seeing increasing numbers of incidents of impaired driving and crashes due to impaired drivers – a 13.65% increase in 2017 over 2016. Just when I thought I had seen it all – I am still surprised how often we are arresting impaired drivers during the daytime hours – something that wasn’t very common when I was an officer – and they are impaired by illegal or even prescribed drugs (pay attention to those warning labels.) As a result, we have had to step up our game to detect drugged drivers which is what DRE allows us to do.
Becoming a DRE is difficult and challenging (as it should be) but Peters let us know that Riedy and Sears did very well in the academic aspect. Knowing them, we look for them to do equally well in the practical testing. Their work will make the roads of our community safer.
Here is the moral of the story: Don’t drive impaired in Auburn Hills – we will find you.