The Westfield Borough Council discussed a police officer who desires to go for a training that will allow him to keep a drug recognition expert certification that helps him recognize different substances and impairments people may be under. The council denied the officer’s request at first, but after reconsideration, the training was granted.
Officer D. Niles requested to attend the DUI Association annual meeting that is held on Nov. 18. This meeting will offer topics such as generational differences, prescribed impairment, trends in vaping, cannabis and traffic stops and emotional engagement. Niles would also be able to get re-certified as a drug recognition expert.
Niles shared that out of 30,000 police officers in Pennsylvania, only 200 of them have this training. It is important to have this training because when an individual is believed to be impaired, the DRE is called to evaluate and determine the type of drug that caused impairment.
“I have assisted Human Services that remove kids from drug homes. We also go in, especially within our own community, to homes where there are kids that are being supervised by parents or other individuals that are impaired. I have testified in court multiple times. I have assisted getting kids out of endangered homes,” said Niles.
Niles shared that he could help other officers get familiar with different substances and that he could continue to provide trainings to officers and people in the community. He said that it is a passion of his and he wants to be able to share it with others.
“I have conducted trainings for local emergency medial services and conducted trainings for drug endangered children and human services. I have also presented in Mansfield, Westfield and Elkland. I think it is valuable, not only to our community, but also to the entire county,” Niles said.
The council mentioned that there was money within the funds to provide the assistance Niles needed. However; the motion failed to pass with four against two. A council member spoke up and asked if the council would reconsider in the executive session.
Because it could be considered a personnel matter, the counsel agreed to talk about it during their executive session. When the session was over, the council had come to a compromise. The council will provide Niles with the assistance that is needed if he will continue to teach and make presentations to show the council. A motion was carried for this plan and it was approved with a vote of five against one.