PAPD to Conduct Compliance Checks with Help of Grant - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

PAPD to Conduct Compliance Checks with Help of Grant

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 PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- In the past, some businesses that sell alcohol have come under fire for allowing underage customers to purchase it. With the help of a new grant, given to the Princess Anne Police Department, merchants and minors may want to think twice about breaking the law.

For businesses like the Princess Anne Community Store, the message is clear, “No Alcohol or Tobacco without Proper I.D.,” according to a sign on the front door. It is a rule underage customers are expected to follow and one that Princess Anne police will enforce.

Police Chief Scott Keller said his department  received a $4,000 grant, from the Somerset County Health Department, to conduct compliance checks on businesses that sell alcohol.

 " Always assume the younger person that walks in there has been sent in by police,” Chief Keller said. “If you assume that, and you properly identify them, you won't have any problems."

Keller said his officers will only conduct checks within town limits. Maryland State Police cover all other parts of the state. In 2012, five businesses in Somerset County were cited for selling alcohol to minors, but Keller said compliance has improved.

" A lot of the time, it's not the business owners, " he said. “I think the business owners are very aware of this, but properly educating the clerks and the people who are actually doing the selling are really important."
 
Officers will not be undercover, but an underage cadet or student working with police will.

 “Look at that date of birth and make sure that the date the person was born, to today's date, they are at least 21," Keller said.

 Samuel Whaley lives in Princess Anne, Md. He thinks stepping up surveillance is not a bad idea.

" I agree with it; anything that's safe for the community,” Whaley said.

Juanita Spence of Princess Anne said compliance checks are necessary, but she is not sure how effective they will be in keeping alcohol away from minors.

 "Some people around here will actually go in and purchase it for the kids," she said. “I think it would be helpful though.”
    
Chief Keller tells me the last round of compliance checks happened earlier this year and there were two violations in town.



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