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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Awarded Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Grant, Deputies Graduate as DRE’s

    Thousand Oaks, Calif. – The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office received a $51,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a one-year Drug Recognition Expert Training program.  The money will fund various activities intended to reduce deaths and injuries on California roads.  In January 2020, six Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies graduated as DRE’s.  Inclusive, they each completed 144 hours of training to be certified as DRE’s.

    East County Patrol Services Commander John Reilly commented, “This advanced training increases DRE’s within our agency, which is needed to meet the increasing demands of taking drunk, drugged and marijuana impaired drivers off the road.  This helps us in our goal of making our communities safer.”

    The grant-related activities are for the 2020 federal fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

    The grant includes funding to train deputies to become DRE’s through a 72-hour Drug Enforcement Evaluator School and 24-hour field certification, provide prerequisite training in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and conduct updated training and field certifications for current DRE’s.

    DRE’s participate in several programs funded by OTS in traffic education and enforcement programs such as:

    • DUI/driver’s license checkpoints
    • Patrols specifically looking for suspected alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers
    • Officer training to identify suspected impaired drivers and conduct sobriety tests.

    “Getting in a vehicle remains one of the most dangerous things we do,” OTS director Barbara

    Rooney said. “We must continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to shift that realization and make traveling on our roads safer.”

    Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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