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October 23, 2013

CMUPD To Launch R.A.I.D.

Grant to Support New Alcohol Education and Enforcement Program

By Abby Simmons

CMU PDThe Carnegie Mellon University Police Department (CMUPD) is implementing a new, two-year alcohol education and enforcement program with the help of a $30,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB).

CMU Sgt. Jason Hendershot, who led efforts to obtain the grant, spoke about the award at a mid-September press conference along with the PLCB, State House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and representatives from the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, which received a $40,000 grant.

The grants are among 61 awards totaling $2.14 million the PLCB issued as part of its alcohol education grant program this year.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the PLCB 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," Hendershot said.

CMU's program will be known as R.A.I.D., which stands for Realize Alcohol Influences Decision-making. CMU Lt. Gary Scheimer will oversee all aspects of planning, staffing and evaluating R.A.I.D. efforts.

"Educational programs will be conducted at specific times during the school year when alcohol activities are prevalent, such as the beginning of the academic year and during Spring Carnival. Increased staffing and enforcement will overlap during the same periods to reinforce the reality of the consequences to underage drinking," Scheimer said.

The CMUPD plans to work with the Division of Student Affairs to incorporate a weeklong series of alcohol education programs into Orientation, beginning with the class entering in fall 2014.

The R.A.I.D. program also includes an educational component for the CMUPD. A portion of the grant funding will be used to expand training for police officers on safely apprehending underage drinking offenders and dispersing large parties.

Sgt. Jason Hendershot and Lt. Gary Scheimer of CMU's police department are working in partnership with the PLCB to reduce underage drinking and increase awareness of the dangers of alcohol.