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Peru officer named drug recognition expert

STAFF REPORT - Peru Tribune

A member of the Peru Police Department recently achieved certification that is expected to help the department during impaired driving stops.

Peru Police Sgt. Mike Vinopal is the department’s first “drug recognition expert,” or DRE, the department announced in a social media post on Thursday.

“The Peru Police Department has been in need of a Drug Recognition Expert for some time. With the rise in usage of so many narcotics, we felt having a DRE was invaluable to our department and our city,” Chief Michael Meeks said in the post. “We see a lot of drivers who appear to be impaired on something other than alcohol. Sergeant Vinopal will be able to use his knowledge to better understand what a driver may be under the influence of.”

Vinopal, a 15-year veteran of the department, joins about 250 other DREs who are currently certified in the state.

He achieved certification after completion of three-phase program that included basic-knowledge training, a seven-day course with written exams and quizzes, and a final proficiency demonstration and certification phase.