MAY 10, 2011
Law enforcement officers throughout Minnesota are being trained by drug addicts as part of a hands-on program that teaches cops how to deal with people who are under the influence of narcotics.It gets better. The drug addicts are actually high when they’re paired with the trainee cop and some are recruited from a publicly-funded needle exchange program that supposedly helps stem the spread of AIDS by providing addicts with free supplies to shoot up. In fact, the Minnesota AIDS Project Needle Exchange offers “rewards and incentives” to participants who show up under the influence to help train police.The special teachers help law enforcement officers throughout the state become Drug Recognition Experts, according to a local news report that reveals the rather unconventional program has been around since 1991. The state police official who operates it says 190 officers at 85 agencies have participated since it was started and many departments consider it a valuable tool.The hands-on course lasts two weeks. Officers essentially hang out with an assigned addict who could be high on prescription drugs, cocaine or a popular African stimulant (khat) that creates feelings of euphoria and hallucinations. The idea is to help officers identify people that are impaired on things other than alcohol. Often, breathalyzers show no trace of alcohol on suspects who display erratic behavior and officers have no idea what they are on.Incredibly, the program is recognized by the government agency responsible for keeping the nation’s roads safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The federal endorsement indicates that it’s a good thing so many druggies in the North Star State are volunteering to train police in this crucial area. One marijuana abuser, recruited after getting caught in a car high, says she’s simply trying to do her “civic duty.”
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