Michelle Basch, wtop.com
WASHINGTON -- Attention underage drinkers: Police have received a large amount of money to help them fight underage drinking and check for fake IDs.
The $30,000 grant from the state allows police at the University of Maryland, College Park to pay officers overtime to conduct alcohol enforcement, while other officers handle everyday calls.
This way, police officers won't have to be diverted from anti-alcohol patrols to handle other emergencies.
The department has received grants to conduct alcohol enforcement before, but not this big, officials say. This batch of grant money will last through July 2012.
"Officers will be expected to conduct enforcement at large parties," says University Police Capt. Marc Limansky.
"They will do enforcement in drinking establishments, some of the bars in the area. We will be doing fake ID checking at those establishments. We will be looking for individuals who we believe to be underage, checking their ID and enforcing those violations. And also enforcing violations of individuals just carrying open alcoholic beverages in public."
Limansky says several bar owners in College Park are using technology to hunt young lawbreakers.
"Some of the establishments have purchased ID scanners where they, if someone presents a fake ID, they can scan the ID and it will tell them whether or not it's a valid identification card."
Limansky says overall crime on the College Park campus has been dropping since 2007, and police reports show good news so far in 2011.
"Since the beginning of this calendar year, we have had no violent attacks on campus," he says.
An off-campus incident that occurred early last Friday was initially reported as an assault and robbery, but that has since changed. Initially, Prince George's County Police got a report that a University of Maryland student had been followed by two men, attacked on Baltimore Avenue, and robbed of his cellphone and wallet.
After more investigation, police are now calling what happened a simple assault stemming from an argument inside the Barking Dog bar. Police also say the items believed to have been stolen after the assault were actually misplaced.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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