Indiana Excise Police introduce new underage drinking program

Indiana State Excise Police have introduced a new program that is already starting to make an impact on underage drinking among the students of Ball State.

Intensified College Enforcement is a program that, through the use of more officers in specific regions in Indiana, hopes to cut down on underage drinking, particularly in university areas. Ball State, Indiana University and DePauw University are currently targets for the new project that began on Feb. 6 and runs until the end of the semester.

The new initiative will not only focus on underage drinking, but also supplying minors with alcohol, the use of fake identification and operating while intoxicated. The program has already proved itself to be successful, considering the more than 100 citations that have been issued since the beginning of the program, 48 of them on the weekend of Feb. 24-26.

"It is intensified, in that we are concentrating more on the campus area and the city in general as it relates to enforcing underage drinking and any other violations that occur," Lt. John Folk of District 2 said. "The grant funding provides us an opportunity to put more of our officers on the street, utilizing that funding for overtime hours to undertake those efforts. The intensified part comes from both the attention that we're giving these three locations and the amount of officers that we can utilize."

If this new ICE program has proven itself effective once its tenure is finished at the end of the semester, the Excise Police will attempt to have it return for the Fall Semester. Though arrests and citations are very important to the success of the program and the department, the lack of both would be just as rewarding to the officers.

"While the numbers may differ among the schools, what we're looking for at all three is compliance," Folk said. "Our ultimate wish is just for compliance."

As the law enforcement division of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, Indiana State Excise Police are responsible for enforcing the laws of their respective commission as well as the laws of the state. While the University Police Department does not operate under the same jurisdiction, nor do they often collaborate with the excise officers, the relationship between the two is of gratitude and respect.

"We have an excellent working relationship with them," University Police Chief Gene Burton said. "They provide a valuable job for the state of Indiana and they're not just targeting our students, this is a statewide initiative that involves other college campuses. On the enforcement side of things, how can you be upset about someone helping you do your job? We enjoy having them here, because it's an extra set of hands to get the job done. You never turn that down."


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