Tuesday 20 Aug 2019


Sheriff’s Corporal Honored For Drug Recognition Efforts

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, with the support of the County Commissioners, formed a Driving While Impaired Task Force in October of 2015. At that time, Wayne County was ranked 13th in the State for traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver. Four deputies were selected to form this team and concentrate on impaired driving. One of the deputies selected, Cpl. Jonathan Batchelor, attended and received certification as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). This training consisted of many hours of classroom study as well as conducting practical exercises on subjects to determine impairment. In order to become DRE certified, Cpl. Batchelor had to demonstrate proficiency in determining what category of controlled substance was causing the impairment. Since the formation of this unit, Wayne County has dropped from 13th to 25th in the State as it relates to fatalities involving an impaired driver.

During a recent annual DRE in-service training held on December 13, 2018 in Jamestown, NC, Cpl. Batchelor received several honors in relation to his DRE training and the use of that training in the field. Cpl. Batchelor was recognized for:

  • Outstanding Performance as a Drug Recognition Expert;
  • Platinum Performance as a Drug Recognition Expert (one of 4 in the State) and;
  • Top Performing Drug Recognition Expert from a Sheriff’s Office.

On January 18 during the promotional ceremony held in Courtroom #1, Sheriff Pierce recognized Cpl. Batchelor for his achievement and dedication to the DWI Task Force.

Captain Brian Dawson who oversees several divisions as well as the DWI Task Force stated “it makes me proud that we have one of our own that has dedicated his time and effort to exceed proficient levels as it relates to evaluating these types of Drug Impaired Driving Cases. There have been many times I have personally observed Corporal Batchelor studying and conducting research in an attempt to better himself as a DRE Expert. It is such an honor to have our State honor Corporal Batchelor for his high proficiency level in this field. Great Job Corporal Batchelor and thank you for being so passionate about this very necessary tool that you use to daily to remove dangerous impaired drivers from our roadways. You and your team continue to impress!”

Sheriff Larry Pierce stated “I am proud of the job that this team has accomplished since it was created. Lives have been saved as a result of the concentrated efforts of law enforcement in removing impaired drivers from the streets and highways of our county. I am especially proud of the effort that Cpl. Batchelor has put forth. It is clear that he has a passion for using the skillset he has learned and to be recognized by the State of North Carolina as the top DRE from a Sheriff’s Office as well as being one of the four top DRE performers in the State.”

Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce (left) and Cpl. Jonathan Batchelor

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