The bald eagle, a traditional symbol of United States law enforcement, symbolizes strength, courage and confidence. The eagle is proudly stretching it's wings to display the title one receives after completing the comprehensive training program: "Drug Recognition Expert."
The twelve rays that surround the eagle's head represent the twelve steps in the drug influence evaluation process. The first step is a breath alcohol test, and the last is the corroborative toxicological examination.
The eagle's right talon is holding a grape leaf cluster, symbolizing the drug alcohol.
The left talon is holding seven arrows or spikes, signifying the seven categories of drugs. The categories, based on specific signs and symptoms, are: Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants, Inhalants, Phencyclidine (PCP), Cannabis, CNS Stimulants, Hallucinogens, and Narcotic Analgesics.
The words "Systematic Standardized Evaluation" that surround the emblem are the watchwords of the Drug Evaluation Procedure.
In the background of the emblem's center is a green cross. Green, the traditional color of safety, symbolizes law enforcement. The cross also represents the center of the Los Angeles Police Department traffic division's uniform shoulder patch.
In the foreground is the California bear. This symbolizes the fact that the Drug Recognition expert program had its start in California. It is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the program's unofficial joke. Ask a Drug Recognition Expert about the "bear in the beer bar" for details!