“We Should Seriously Consider Training Law Enforcement Candidates to be Drug Recognition Experts”
(TRENTON) – After today’s Assembly Budget Committee meeting, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem) issued the following statement regarding his idea to expedite the certification of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) by training them at police academies:
“Whether it’s through the legalization of adult-use cannabis, the expansion of the medical marijuana program, or both, we know we will need many more DREs trained in spotting those driving under the influence of cannabis, in addition to the narcotics DREs are currently tasked with detecting.
“I think we should seriously consider training law enforcement candidates while they are at a police academy so they are fully credentialed DREs their first day on the job. We currently have roughly 520 DREs statewide and we know intuitively that’s not enough.
“If we’re graduating people into law enforcement we should explore the concept of equipping them with the basic tools of drug recognition enforcement. Training future law enforcement officers as early in the process as possible just seems to make sense to me. At the very least, let’s find out if this is feasible.”