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May 3, 2014

Law enforcement agencies team up to reduce alcoholic sales to minors

CLAREMORE —

The Claremore Police Department and Rogers County Sheriff’s Office conducted compliance checks Thursday throughout area businesses that sell alcohol and non-intoxicating beverages. 
Through a partnership with the ROCMND Regional Prevention Coordinator and the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement (ABLE) Commission, agencies targeted businesses in an effort to educate store clerks about the harmful effects of alcohol use with minors.
Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown said the goal is to make sure business owners and staff are in compliance with state laws, in hopes of reducing juvenile offenders and danger to the public.
“From the city side, this is something we do take seriously, and we appreciate the police department and everything they’re doing to reduce these offenses and crime in general,” said City Attorney Matt Ballard. “With a big sweep like this, over time you do see a big reduction in the amount of juvenile offenders, for several reasons, the product becomes less available and because it raises awareness. Juveniles and store clerks know that this type of behavior is being watched.”
Ballard said because of these types of programs, the city has witnessed a reduction in the amount of related court cases. 
“I think it’s an effective approach to addressing the availability of alcohol and non-intoxicating beverages to minors, and we’re going to see a big benefit to the community,” said Ballard.
CPD officers have discovered a reduction in the number of non-compliant citations administered as well.
“The reality is most business owners and store clerks want to be law-abiding citizens,” said Brown.
Out of the 13 businesses checked Thursday, three were written citations. 
“The businesses have received citations in the past,” Brown said. “These are circumstances where we may have to hammer down on the owners to make sure they enforce better training with their staff.”
He said the ABLE Commission reserves the right to take action regarding business licensing if they determine it is necessary.

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