Thank you, Mr. Blair.
The drug recognition evaluator program is administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Within that, it directs the national police service of whatever country is responsible for a DRE program. In Canada, that falls to the RCMP, of course.
The funding Mr. Blair speaks of would have gone to the RCMP in order to support and look after the training for the DRE program. I believe the RCMP is speaking before this committee next week. At that time, in 2008, the DRE program across the country was in its infancy. We were just starting it and were three or four years into it. There were some struggles in getting it started. It was very intense training. We were able to finally get things headed in the right direction.
As a result, we have trained upwards of close to 600 individual officers as DRE evaluators. We do have some issues with attrition of officers, as any organization does, but we have not sat dormant on either the DRE training or the SFST training. Individually, our organizations across the country recognized that the incidence of drug-impaired driving was increasing and that we had an ability through the SFST and the DRE to do this.
From an SFST perspective, since the announcement of the legislation in November 2015, in Toronto and elsewhere across the country we've done seven SFST courses and have another three planned. That's put 107 Toronto officers and 40 other officers from other jurisdictions on the road for the SFST.
The Ontario Police College has taken this under their wing. Between now and July 2018 they've committed to 63 SFST courses for training to be provided to the officers in the province of Ontario, with an additional 32 courses between July of 2018 and the end of 2019. That's close to 100 courses, with roughly 20 students on each course. The goal is to have approximately 2,000 additional SFST-trained officers.
Personally, my experience has been that when we send out a whole group of brand-new SFST officers, there's an uptake in the number of arrests for drug-related impaired driving. I see that on my morning reports every day, so it is working. We haven't sat idle. We are continuing with our ongoing training and, as Directeur Harel says, very aggressively, recognizing that we need this.
Having said that, we're ready. We have a capacity now. Will it meet the demand? I would hazard a guess not, but we are not starting from zero with this legislation. Depending on the day of the week, we have 500 or 600 fully trained DREs across the country. When someone makes a bad decision to get behind the wheel of a car when they've been using drugs, we have that ability to hold them accountable and to keep our roads safe.
With regard to the DRE, Mr. Blair, this year there are two more courses planned. At the moment, between April of next year through February 2019, there are six additional DRE courses that are being planned and are being coordinated by the RCMP.