Monday, September 16, 2013
Press Release: Frankel Announces Two State Grants To Combat Underage Drinking in Oakland
Carnegie Mellon Police Recieves $30,000 for Two-Year Alcohol Education and Enforcement Program
Contact: Abby Simmons / 412-268-4290 / firstname.lastname@example.org
PITTSBURGH—House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today announced two state grants to help reduce underage drinking in Oakland.
Frankel said the state Liquor Control Board has awarded $40,000 to the Oakland Planning and Development Corp. and $30,000 to the Carnegie Mellon University Police Department. The grants are among 61 awards totaling $2.14 million the PLCB issued earlier this month.
"Oakland is a wonderful community, one that I believe has room for great institutions, students and proud residents alike. As a state representative for Oakland, I'm excited that these grants empower the residents and institutions to keep the neighborhood vibrant — and safe," Frankel said. "The Liquor Control Board isn't just in the business of selling alcohol — its job is also to promote responsible alcohol use for those 21 and older. These grants are great examples of that mission."
Sgt. Jason Hendershot of the CMUPD said: "We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in working to reduce underage drinking and instances of dangerous drinking on the CMU campus. Our hope is to affect positive change through a combined education and enforcement effort that will increase awareness to the dangers associated with these behaviors."
The CMUPD will introduce a two-year alcohol education and enforcement program on campus called RAID, which stands for Realize Alcohol Influences Decision-making. The program will include a weeklong educational series for incoming freshmen. In addition, the grant will fund training initiatives for police and increased staffing for underage drinking patrols.
Wanda Wilson, executive director of OPDC, said: "Oakland is a diverse neighborhood with wonderful attributes beyond the image of a party neighborhood. Like neighborhoods everywhere, we have families who take pride in their homes, walk children to school bus stops, and take action about issues of concern. We have a broad coalition of Oakland community leaders, city and university partners aligned to confront the problem of underage binge drinking through aggressive enforcement and organizing. This grant will bolster efforts already underway to crack down on large, pay-to-enter house parties and the dangerous drinking practices they encourage."
OPDC will use the funds to hire off-duty police officers to increase enforcement of criminal and liquor code violations in Oakland's residential neighborhoods. They will hire a part-time staff person to do outreach and education with local landlords and students, and acquire and analyze data on how underage drinking plays a role in creating nuisance properties in the neighborhood. OPDC will coordinate these efforts with Oakland's community code enforcement group, Oakwatch.