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RCPD Creates Innovative Officer Training Program
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes every day—in 2016, that was one person every 50 minutes. In addition, the 2015 Governors Highway Safety Association survey indicated 43% of deceased drivers tested positive for drugs in their system, while 37% tested positive for alcohol.
The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) is responsible for enforcing traffic safety laws throughout the Rancho Cordova community. Among other responsibilities, RCPD responds to traffic collisions and people driving under the influence (DUI) of substances, such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. Each officer receives 16 hours of training in the Sheriff’s Academy to prepare them to respond.
Motor Officers Marcus James and Brian Aubuchon were responding to these situations when they began to notice that their fellow officers might benefit from additional training.
“I train other officers in responding to DUIs and have received the Drug Recognition Expert certification,” said Officer James. “There is additional knowledge that prepares me to respond to situations that I thought my colleagues in the field could benefit from also.”
The Officers’ observation led to them creating an in-house training program that teaches RCPD officers to investigate traffic collisions and respond to DUIs.
The program includes 40 hours of training in collision investigation and 80 hours of training in DUI and impaired driving investigations. Officers review RCPD policies and procedures; learn case law, DMV process, report writing and more; and receive hands-on training.
“This extensive training program ensures RCPD officers can better serve the Rancho Cordova community,” said Officer James. “The program is already making a difference. Our officers are better able to detect impaired drivers, respond to traffic collisions, and overall keep our roads safer.”
With the holiday season in full swing, RCPD wants to remind you to “drive sober or get pulled over” and that “DUI doesn’t just mean booze.” Here are some tips you can follow to be prepared:
- If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.
- If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
- If you are impaired, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi or use a ride sharing service, phone a friend or family member, use public transportation, etc.
- If someone you know is impaired, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a safe ride home.
- If you are a designated driver, download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 9-1-1. Your actions could help save someone’s life.