New Online Drug Handling Course for First Responders

drug handlingvia FIU Flickr

Maria Matos | Contributing Writer

FIU’s Global Forensics and Justice Center has recently developed a 45-minute online drug handling safety course, available for free to law enforcement students at FIU. 

The course, Bureau of Justice Assistance Academic-Based Drug Field Testing And Training Initiative, has been available since February 15 and aims to “train law enforcement officers on how to collect, preserve and test illicit drugs in the field.” 

According to the GFJC website, the course was developed to combat the “evolving illicit drug market creating unprecedented challenges for law enforcement seizing unknown drugs, forensic laboratories testing for controlled substances, and the court system to adjudicate drug cases” and “concerns for officer safety when encountering unknown substance suspected to be illicit drugs in the field.” 

The course consists of modules detailing how to collect and preserve hard drugs, such as fentanyl, on-scene. It focuses on officer safety and will provide certification upon completion with a score of 80% or higher. 

Additionally, the course provides instruction on how to operate field portable technology, as well as advisement on which technologies are best for on-scene analysis and how agencies can best implement them in said work.

Thanks to the $1.7 million awarded to GFJC by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the training will remain free until September of this year. 

As of right now, only first responders (law enforcement, firefighter/emergency medical technician, medical examiner/coroner), are eligible to register for the course.

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