Worley becomes first university certified drug recognition expert
Morehead State University’s Police Department has been recognized for having the first University police officer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky certified as a Drug Recognition Expert.
Officer Leah Worley, a four-year member of the force, completed a three-week training course that certifies her to conduct specialized evaluations of suspected substance users pending criminal charges in Rowan County.
The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) is a standardized, systematic method for law enforcement officers to determine vehicle operator impairment due to drug use and to identify the category or categories of drugs involved. This Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) course is intended for law enforcement officers who have successfully completed training similar to the Advanced Roadside Impairment Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) program.
MSUPD hosted the ARIDE program last year where Worley and 26 other officers attended. Participants gained a greater understanding of drug terminology and pharmacology and how to identify the seven categories of drugs and the indicators of impairment.
The DRE course consists of two weeks of intense academic training with an additional phase with hands-on practice and pre-certification training. The certification phase is conducted by a certified instructor and consists of actual evaluations of drug-impaired subjects.
Certification is approved only when the officer demonstrates proficiency as a DRE and fully meets the national standards established by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). For final certification, Worley recently traveled to Los Angeles and completed training with collaborative efforts of the Los Angeles Police Department, where the program was originally developed. She and nine others remained under the stewardship of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training. The LAPD allowed
her group to interact daily with substance abusers who was incarcerated for drug related offenses.
While there, her group received complementary tours of several LAPD facilities and a hospitality flight in one of their helicopters patrolling the city. Funding for the training was acquired by a partnership grant from the Rowan County Unite Drug Coalition, Morehead State University’s Police Department and the Morehead City Police Department.
Additional information is available by calling MSUPD at (606) 783-2035.