Rockdale County Sheriff Deputy Nathan Watts and Deputy Curtis Thompson completed the Drug Recognition Expert Program on Nov. 8. Training for the DRE program consists of 240 hours of combined classroom and field evaluations. Students are taught to recognize specific indicators, signs and symptoms, of each drug category. After completing the classroom portion of the DRE program, students traveled to Maricopa County in Phoenix, Arizona where they spent a week doing actual DRE Evaluations on real subjects that had been arrested and were impaired. The Drug Recognition Expert program was started in 1979 by two LAPD officers, Dick Studdard, a traffic officer and Len Leads, a narcotics officer.