The Salem Police Department was recently awarded a $9,900 grant to combat underage drinking. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is providing $505,000 in funding to 71 Massachusetts communities on a competitive basis with awards ranging from $4,200 to $15,000.
“This much needed funding helps us target the problem of underage drinking on all fronts,” said Captain Kate Stephens. “Whether you are underage, plan to sell to a minor, or buy alcohol for a minor, this funding promotes our effort to diligently enforce the laws against underage drinking.”
Funds support compliance checks for minors in bars, restaurants and retail locations; reverse stings and “Cops in Shops” programs; “shoulder tap” solicitations; surveillance patrols; and party patrols. Through a combination of these techniques, departments analyze and crack down on minors who seek to circumvent the law and people and businesses that enable them.
“Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is not a game. It’s deadly serious,” said Captain Stephens. “Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is illegal and extremely dangerous for young people and the entire community. Parents should also know they will face all legal liabilities. Our City faces an additional challenge given the fact that a large percentage of Salem State University is under the age of 21. As in years past we will concentrate heavily on those areas adjacent to Salem State University”
With the upcoming Prom season in mind we will increase our efforts to reduce the opportunities for underage alcohol consumption. The Salem Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS/HSD and NHTSA 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 because any loss of life or injury on our roadways is one too many” said Captain Stephens.