Area law enforcement encourage safe behavior this summer
The Chickasaw Connections coalition believes in promoting activities that support safe and healthy lifestyles in Chickasaw County. A key focus of the coalition involves preventing youth from underage drinking and the consequences that follow. According to the 2014 Iowa Youth Survey, 43 percent of 8th and 81 percent 11th graders in Chickasaw County reported it is easy to access alcohol in their community, significantly above the state averages of 33 percent of 8th and 66 percent of 11th graders. Chickasaw County youth report accessing alcohol in parties at homes, outdoor spaces, parks, and in rural areas.These parties can lead to serious problems including impaired driving, sexual assault, and other forms of injury, violence, and vandalism. The Chickasaw Connections coalition is working with Pathways Behavioral Services with funding through the Iowa Partnerships for Success (IPFS) Grant to prevent these problems by implementing five different prevention strategies throughout the county.One of these five strategies involves reducing youth access to alcohol by providing resources to support law enforcement. Law enforcement does not always have time and resources devoted specifically to preventing underage drinking.To address this issue, area law enforcement departments will receive training and resources to increase underage drinking prevention efforts. Since laws are only effective if enforced, this will allow officers to proactively prevent, patrol, and safely close down underage drinking parties and the consequences that follow.This will reduce the likelihood for disaster by getting party-goers home safely, and deter future illegal activity by placing appropriate charges against the violator(s). This additional support will also grant Chickasaw County law enforcement resources to more regularly walkthrough establishments in locations they serve.These special enforcement efforts will start this month and continue through the end of September. To report concerns and incidents of underage drinking, please contact your local law enforcement office:●Chickasaw County Sheriff: (641) 394-3121●Nashua Police: (641) 435-2068●New Hampton Police: (641) 394-3241To learn about all five underage drinking prevention strategies, the Chickasaw Connections coalition, and how to get involved, visit www.chickasawconnections.org or contact Carol Hopp at firstname.lastname@example.org. The IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/substance-abuse/programs/ipfs.