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Boutilier trained as drug recognition expert

HOULTON, Maine — A member of the Houlton Police Department has joined an elite group of police officers in the state.

Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca informed members of the Houlton Town Council Monday evening that officer Benjamin Boutilier successfully completed a two-week training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to become certified as a Drug Recognition Expert for the department.

“The DRE course will enable Officer Boutilier to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol,” the chief said. “Today more than ever before, impaired drivers are operating under the influence of drugs and this training/certification will allow officer Boutilier to determine what type of substance has been ingested through the process of elimination.”

Boutilier was selected to attend the demanding training after being interviewed, re-affirming his commitment to law enforcement and having his work history with the Houlton Police Department reviewed, the chief said.

Along with his two-week training at the academy, Boutilier also spent time at the Baltimore Metropolitan Police Department in Maryland, where practical testing and analysis was performed on suspects arrested within Baltimore Police precincts.

“This training is coordinated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),” Chief DeLuca said. “The Los Angeles Police Department originated the program in the early 1970’s. The program was such a success, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration partnered with LAPD and developed a standardized DRE protocol and training. The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety oversees and funds the program in Maine.”

Currently there are only 80 trained DRE’s in the state and only five in Aroostook County. Boutilier also will be available to assist other agencies in The County.

“We are fortunate to have him as a resource here in Houlton,” the chief said.

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