Hoping to create an environment which prevents underage drinking, Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) is hosting law enforcement training in July. The free training called “2M2L (2 Much 2 Lose)” will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. July 25 and July 26 at the Red River Technology’s Business Center in Duncan.
“2M2L (2 Much 2 Lose)” covers areas like environmental strategies to prevent underage drinking, current alcohol laws, media advocacy, fake and altered ID’s, bar checks and special event techniques and lastly, model policies.
Jillian Latimer, Drug Free Communities Program Director, said law enforcement officers from anywhere in the state receive 17.5 hours of CLEET credit.
“While a lot of the training topics are more geared towards law enforcement, we would love to have community members come out and join us,” said Latimer. “They could learn a lot about what is happening in their community to keep their teens safe.”
There are two exercises Latimer said officers might find helpful and officers should wear plain clothes.
“The participation in the compliance checks and the mock party dispersal will both be really great opportunities for law enforcement to get a hands on education on what to do in those scenarios,” she said.
According to WMPN, in the past the focus has been one-on-one interactions with law enforcement officers or influential persons in which the minor was encouraged to abstain from drinking underage, however, moving forward it has been found that best practice is to limit the access teenagers have to alcohol.
“Basically we want to change the environment to one that doesn’t condone or make it easier for those that are underage to drink alcohol,” said Latimer.
Cracking down on social host parties is the goal of mock party dispersals, another environmental strategy used to limit access. The mock party gives the officers an “as close to real life” experience as possible so they can know how to respond when on duty.
“The idea is that rather than citing the teenagers at a party, it’s better for law enforcement to ticket the people who host the parties so they will be less likely to do it again,” Latimer said.
If any officers would like to sign up they may do so on the CLEET website. Community members interested in attending can contact Latimer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580-355-5246 Ext. 103.