For Immediate Release, March 11, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Guy Cousins, Acting Director, Office of Substance Abuse
Law Enforcement Agencies Statewide Awarded Grants to Enforce Underage Drinking
AUGUSTA - The Maine Office of Substance Abuse recently announced the awarding of grants to 15 law enforcement agencies across the state to target underage drinking. The two-year grants, ranging from $5,000 to $9,500 annually, will help to coordinate efforts across their respective service areas to enforce existing underage drinking laws. The funding is provided by the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Grant, form the Office of Juvenile Delinquency Program. The grant runs from April 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010.
Acting Director of the Office of Substance Abuse, Guy Cousins, said that law enforcement plays a critical role in reducing underage drinking in our state. "This is a community problem and it takes an entire community working together to solve it. Research shows that alcohol kills more children than all illegal drugs combined. Many adolescents drink alcohol that was purchased by their parents and many do so without their parents' knowledge."
The project includes underage drinking party patrols, collaboration among agencies for special call-out teams to handle large parties and third party transaction surveillance. It also focuses on helping law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute those who provide alcohol and/or a place for minors to consume alcohol, as well as notifying parents or guardians of juveniles involved in the use of alcohol.
Another goal of this two year grant is to build community relationships that will remain in place long after the grant expires.
Those law enforcement agencies who have received grants are:
Auburn Police, $15,000; Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Department, $8,448; Bath Police, $13,460;
Cape Elizabeth Police, $19,000; Caribou Police, $15,000; University of Southern Maine Police
Gorham, $15,000; Greenville Police, $14,000; Hampden Police, $14,000; Lewiston Police, $15,000; Lincoln Police, $10,000; Millinocket Police, $8,836.48; Rockland Police, $13,935; Searsport Police, $9,605; South Berwick Police, $14,000; South Portland Police, $19,000.
Additionally, five awards have been granted to law enforcement agencies who participated in this project in previous years and will mentor the new grantees as they develop skills to carry out underage drinking enforcement strategies. The mentors will share information about implementing the strategies and lessons learned from their experiences, along with continuing to initiate strategies to enforce underage drinking laws in their own service areas.
Those receiving mentor grants are: Knox County Sheriff's Office; Penobscot County Sheriff's Office; Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office, Westbrook Police; and York Police.