TICONDEROGA - Recently the Ticonderoga Connecting Youth and Communities Coalition created an under-age drinking party dispersal task force.
The task force is comprised of concerned citizens and provides auxiliary manpower to supplement the police force in enforcing underage drinking laws. The mission of the task force is to provide manpower, containment and logistical support to the police department when there is a need for a party dispersal.
The task force stems from a need identified by the police department for a safe alternative to police-only enforcement at under-age drinking parties.
"The safe dispersal of an underage drinking party has been a primary concern for our department," said Chief Mark Johns of the Ticonderoga Police Department. "Too often we see young people being injured due to a lack of manpower to contain these parties. With the Dispersal Task Force in place, not only is containment easier, but the assistance with processing and communications takes a tremendous workload off my officers."
Numerous incidents of injuries resulting from uncontained dispersals led to a training session where local law enforcement and coalition members learned about the role of civilian volunteers in party containment.
Four volunteers from the community make up the task force. They were trained and equipped in late October to carry out their mission. Volunteering is nothing new to this force. All of the volunteers have been active in the past with different projects. Each was involved in a neighborhood watch and the Task Force Leader, Edna Quesnel, is a long time volunteer with the Red Cross. The other Task force members are Randy Fleury, Bonnie Fleury and Jay Wood.
Randy Bevins, director of an environmental change strategy within the coalition, said he has the utmost respect for these volunteers.
"I'm very pleased to see volunteers step forward to help our kids," Bevins said. "Time and time again I have seen the best in people as they do what they can to make our community a safer place for youth. Whether it is to feel needed, share a skill, become more involved in the community, volunteering benefits everyone."
The Ti-Putnam-Hague CYC has many projects and programs that require volunteers young and old. People interested in helping should contact Kristi Mars at 585-6366 or Bevins at 586-6342.