Awards and Recognition

Each year at the DRE Section's Impaired Driving Training Conference, these awards are presented to those working in the field of drugged driving.

Drug Recognition Expert Emeritus and Ambassador Awards Protocol for Nominations and Elections

To honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP), the IACP Drug Recognition Expert Section bestows two awards annually at its training conference.

The DRE Ambassador is awarded to an individual who, while never having been certified as a DRE, has made significant contribution to the DECP.

The DRE Emeritus is awarded to a formerly certified DRE who has served the purposes of the DECP with honor and the highest integrity. This individual is no longer eligible, either through retirement or a job promotion, to maintain active DRE certification.

Granted only by the IACP DRE Section, DRE Emeritus and Ambassador status should not be construed as an entitlement by either the individual or the DRE Section. Rather, the bestowal of Emeritus and Ambassador is an affirmative acknowledgement of the individual's contributions to the DRE community. The DRE Section encourages agencies to draw upon the experience, expertise and historical knowledge of these recognized persons to further the goals of the DECP.

An individual cannot maintain certification as a DRE and hold the title of DRE Emeritus at the same time. DRE Emeritus status does not confer nor perpetuate DRE certification status.

List of DRE Emeriti and Ambassadors

Nomination and Selection Procedure:

An individual may be nominated for DRE Emeritus or DRE Ambassador status as noted below:

(1) A nomination, including full contact information for the nominee, is submitted by the requesting agency coordinator in writing to the state coordinator. Upon endorsement by the state coordinator, the nomination shall be forwarded by June 30 to the International Association of Chiefs of Police's DRE Section chair. Click on the following links for the nomination forms: Nomination form for DRE Emeritus. Nomination form for DRE Ambassador.

(2) In those circumstances in which the agency and/or the state has no active coordinator, an individual may apply directly in writing to the chair of the DRE Section for DRE Emeritus or Ambassador status. The chair shall contact the individual's agency coordinator or regional coordinator and the IACP DECP staff for input and advice.

At the DRE Section's Annual Impaired Driving Training Conference, or soon thereafter, the DRE Section's Awards Committee will review all nominations and determine which nominees are deserving and eligible for DRE Emeritus and DRE Ambassador and prepare a slate of nominees. This slate is presented to the section members at its annual meeting in the fall so that they may vote to accept or to not accept the slate in a general session.

The Karen Tarney Award

Karen Tarney and her husband Dick founded C.A.N.D.I.D. (Citizens Against Drug Impaired Driving), an organization committed to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities due to drivers under the influence of illicit, prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The Tarneys were also ardent supporters of the DECP Program. Karen promoted the DEC Program to officers, prosecutors, and citizens and was instrumental in bringing the DRE program to Wisconsin in 1995. Karen and CANDID also instituted annual awards to recognize those who enforced drugged-driving laws, and those who prosecuted drugged-driving offenders.

On August 28, 2006, Karen Tarney died of a heart attack. To honor her memory, the IACP DRE Section established the Karen Tarney Award. This award will be presented for the first time at the 14th Annual Training Conference in Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving.

Nomination and Selection Procedure:

The Karen Tarney award will be presented annually by the Drug Recognition Expert Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police to a certified drug recognition expert who demonstrates an outstanding contribution to the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program for that calendar year. The qualifying period for the award is January 1 - December 31.

Nominations may be made by any member of the IACP Drug Recognition Expert Section. The deadline for nominations is January 31 of the following year. The nominations must include the following information:

Submit Karen Tarney Award nomination forms to Carolyn Cockroft, staff liaison to the DRE Section at or mail the nomination to her at IACP, 44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314.

An appointed selection committee of the DRE Section will review the nominations.The winner will be announced at the annual IACP Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving.

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