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Cops in Shops Kicks Off in New Jersey with Annual Summer Shore Initiative

Last week, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility joined New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (NJ ABC) Director Michael Halfacre, Lake Como Mayor Michael Ryan, and other state, county and local officials to kick off Cops in Shops as part of the 2014 New Jersey Summer Shore Initiative enforcement program in Belmar, NJ.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility created the Cops in Shops program concept as a partnership between law enforcement and retailers to help deter illegal underage purchases of alcohol and to prevent adults from buying alcohol for minors. Undercover officers pose as store employees to send a clear message to the public— if you’re too young to buy, don’t even try.

Director Halfacre said Cops in Shops has thrived for nearly two decades because of the collaboration of the distilled spirits industry in New Jersey. “Cracking down on underage drinking is a year-round, full-time pursuit for the ABC,” Halfacre said. “Our enforcement job is made more effective by the organizations that encourage their members to become ‘good citizens,’ which not only means complying with the law, but also, as seen in Cops in Shops, aiding law enforcement.”

This summer, 35 shore-area police departments are participating in the program, with approximately $81,000 in funding provided by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. In 2013, 28 participating law enforcement agencies arrested 211 individuals during the crackdown.

We are proud to be longtime partners of the Summer Shore Initiative to prevent underage drinking, and we applaud New Jersey for its efforts to prevent illegal underage alcohol purchases through the Cops in Shops program and the Summer Shore Initiative. Law enforcement and retailers are doing their part to stop underage drinking this summer, and we call on legal age adults to do their part too. The majority of youth get the alcohol they drink from family and friends, so we all have an important role to play in preventing underage drinking. Remember- if you’re too young to buy, don’t even try. Have a #SafeSummer!

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