Drug evaluator program suspended by Public Safety Commissioner

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May 7, 2012 // UPDATED 11:07 am - May 9, 2012
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman has suspended the state’s Drug Evaluation and Classification program and launched an investigation of the program amidst allegations that officers gave drugs to people.

In a press release, Dohman announced that an officer said he witnessed a Hutchinson police officer giving marijuana to the subject of the DEC program. She’s directing her department’s Internal Affairs Division to investigate, and also said the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has launched a criminal investigation. 

The investigations come less than a week after OcuppyMN protesters posted a video on YouTube showing out-state law enforcement agencies persuading protesters to get into the cruisers. The protesters say in the video that officers gave them drugs at a Richfield location. Here's our previous coverage of the allegations.

“Training law enforcement officers to detect drug impairment helps to keep our roads safe, but we need to ensure that all participants follow guidelines and operate within the law,” Commissioner Dohman said in the release. “I have suspended the drug recognition evaluator training pending the outcome of these investigations and until we revisit and review the curriculum for the program.”

The DEC program trains officers to become Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE), according to the press release. The program is managed by the State Patrol.

The press release states that the participants in the program are “volunteer subjects who appear to be impaired are typically recruited from the community.”

Read the full press release here.