The Collins Police Department organized and hosted a statewide training session on Friday, April 22 at the Collins Train Depot. The Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) program was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address the gap in training between the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC/DRE) Program. The SFST program trains officers to identify and assess drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, while the DEC/DRE program provides more advanced training to evaluate suspected drug impairment. The SFST assessment is typically employed at roadside, while an officer trained as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) through the DEC program conducts a 12-step evaluation in a more controlled environment such as a jail or a detention facility. “This program was open to officers throughout the area,” said Collins Police Chief Joey Ponder. “The training they received will give them another tool to help get impaired drivers off the street.” The class, according to Ponder, had about 30 people from various departments including Wiggins, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Jones County and others, and was the largest one in the state. “This class helps officers know what to look for with drivers under the influence,” said Kevin Poole with the ARIDE program. “There are more and more people under the influence of different types of substances while at the wheel.” Ponder said CPD plans to host another class.