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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brookline Police Department Awarded Grant to Combat Underage Drinking

Brookline, MA - Today the Brookline police department announced that it will receive $10,000 from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) as one of 31 grants to local police departments to combat underage drinking. EOPSS awarded $217,000 in U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds were awarded by on a competitive basis; grants varied between $5,000 and $15,000 based on the size of the community.

“There are many tools to combat underage drinking, and this grant provides much needed funding to target the problem,” said Lieutenant Philip Harrington. “Whether you are underage, plan to sell to a minor, or buy alcohol for a minor, we will be on the look out.”

The grants will fund a variety of law enforcement activities including: stings/compliance checks in bars, restaurants and retail locations; reverse stings; “shoulder tap” and “Cops in Shops” programs; and party patrols. Through a combination of these techniques, departments will be able to analyze and crack down on both minors who seek to circumvent the law and those people and businesses that allow them to. Activities under this grant in last year led to 217 youth citations and 189 arrests, and 87 adult citations and 64 arrests across the Commonwealth.

“Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is deadly serious,” said Lieutenant Philip Harrington. “Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is both illegal and extremely dangerous for the minors, for others in the community, and for the parents themselves, given the legal liabilities they face.”
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 nationwide, 33% of 15- to 20-year-olds killed in crashes had a blood alcohol content of .01 or higher. Compounding the problem, drivers who have been drinking are also less likely to use restraints. Also in 2009 nationwide, 60% of young drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were unrestrained. Of the young drivers who had been drinking and were killed in crashes, 70% were unrestrained.
Any loss or injury on our roadways is one too many. The Brookline police department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable, and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries in Brookline.

In addition, the Brookline Police Department encourages residents to be aware of our current policy. Unsupervised house parties have been the scene of many tragic events. Word gets out that parents will be away, and parties quickly get out of hand. Alcohol and drug overdoses, date rape, vandalism and incidences of violence are often the result of unsupervised house parties. We are asking that all members of the Brookline community, parents, neighbors, and teens, to do their part to prevent these tragedies.

If you are aware of plans for an unsupervised house party, please call the Brookline Police 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The telephone number is 617-730-2222- Police Station Front Desk. If you prefer, your call will be anonymous. The police will send out a special patrol to assess the safety of the situation. Appropriate steps will be taken to intervene with any risky behaviors, including alcohol and drug use. The intent of the police intervention is to provide assistance and counseling in order to prevent further tragedies.

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