Saratoga County

Underage drinking is target of Clifton Park grant

The town of Clifton Park has been awarded $10,080 to fight underage drinking.

The town of Clifton Park has been awarded $10,080 to fight underage drinking.

The state grant will fund 16 hours of additional town security patrols every week from May to October, eight hours of patrol during major holidays this summer and additional patrols and training in dispersing and controlling parties.

This grant is part of the Prevention First-NY! grant program. It comes to the town via the Shenendehowa Community Coalition and the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council.

“The Shenendehowa Community Coalition is working to reduce underage drinking by increasing enforcement efforts in the community,” Jenn Wood, coalition coordinator, said in a news release. “Survey results from 2011 show that 19 percent of Shen high school students who consume alcohol do so in open areas such as town parks. This location is second only to family homes when it comes to the place where teens are most likely to drink alcohol.

“In addition to increasing security patrols over the summer months, the Coalition also encourages residents to report underage drinking confidentially by calling 1-866-Under 21.”

Portions of the grant will also go toward the development of strategies for enforcing underage drinking laws, according to the Prevent First-NY! program. In efforts to help enforce these laws, town security officers have the ability to issue appearance tickets to community members who may be in violation of the town code. The town will be collecting data involving the number of citations involving underage drinking distributed during the new timetable.

“The Town Board is proud to partner with the Shenendehowa Community Coalition to enhance patrols that ensure our public areas remain safe and monitored,” town Supervisor Phil Barrett said. “Over the last 12 years we have added additional patrols to reduce and deter illegal activities in our parks, preserves and natural areas, which has also significantly reduced vandalism in our neighborhoods. This grant program furthers that mission.”

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