Chesterton Police Department Officer Nolan Mancera, a 3-year veteran of the department, graduated last week from the Indiana DECP and is now an Indiana Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).

In Indiana, a DRE is an officer that is highly effective and skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

DREs are trained in a systematic and standardized 12-step evaluation process that incorporates physical, mental, and medical components. The DRE certification process encompasses over 70 hours of classroom training followed by 40 hours of field certifications. There are only approximately 8,000 DREs nationwide, equating to 1.1% of all law enforcement officers in the United States.

In 2022, Indiana had 152 alcohol related traffic fatalities, according to the Chesterton Police Department. The department says experience has shown that training a well-defined group of officers proficient in impaired driving enforcement can be very effective in reducing the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities.