Friday, June 18, 2010

Results from “Teen Angel” the Police Department’s Underage Alcohol Prevention Program

Each year, as prom and graduation festivities are celebrated, the Overland Park Police Department goes on heightened alert for underage drinking. At the forefront of the Department’s efforts is a program, funded through a State grant, called Teen Angel.

During spring break and the months that follow, undercover officers deploy on key nights for the sole purpose of identifying and arresting underage people who consume alcohol. Additionally, officers target anyone who provide alcohol to underage consumers.

This year, working on 20 separate nights, officers checked over 300 bars, liquor stores, retail establishments, parks and residential parties, making contact with over 260 juveniles. Their efforts resulted in 79 arrests.

In addition to interdicting minors in possession, Teen Angel officers are also on the lookout for parents who provide alcohol or a place to consume it. In the past, the Police Department has encountered parents who were under the mistaken impression they could safely host a party where minors are consuming beer and liquor. This is a very dangerous proposition and one in which hosts can find themselves in serious legal trouble.