Courtesy photo Highlands County Sheriff's Deputy Ken Jorgensen was recently certified as a Drug Recognition Expert.
published: Sunday, July 28, 2013
HCSO deputy certified as Drug Recognition Expert
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING -- Highlands County Sheriff's Deputy Ken Jorgensen was recently certified as a Drug Recognition Expert.
The role of a Drug Recognition Expert is to evaluate subjects, having been arrested for driving under the influence, and determine if the subject is impaired, what drugs causing the impairment or if a medical condition causing the impairment.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is the regulating and certifying organization that oversees this training.
During the certification process there are two phases that must be completed. The academic phase consists of nine days (72 hours) studying physiology, vital signs, standard field sobriety testing, and seven categories of drug abuse.
This phase includes five tests during the course of study -- two written examinations, and a Standard Field Sobriety Test proficiency examination.
The second phase, certification, must be completed within three months of the academic portion. During this phase the candidate must conduct a minimum of 12 drug influence evaluations under the supervision of the Drug Recognition Expert instructor, identifying subjects under the influence of three of the seven drug categories.
"According to research experts, we have long known about the dangers of drinking and driving in regards to impairment," Sheriff Susan Benton said.
"What we are learning more about is the dramatic increase of drivers that are impaired by licit, illicit, and over the counter drugs.
"I am thankful that Deputy Jorgensen was willing to take on this arduous training program to become certified in this area of identifying drivers impaired by drugs. Our citizens deserve the right to travel on the roadways of our county safely. Our office continues to work to ensure that we are prepared to combat the dangers associated with driving under the influence. Congratulations to Deputy Jorgensen for attaining this important certification."
For further information on Drug Recognition Expert training and certification, go to www.iptm.org.
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