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Alcohol Enforcement Team practices in Walterboro

Officers on the task force corral partiers. Students at Colleton county middle School helped out during a training session conducted by The 14th Judicial Curcuit’s Alcohol Enforcement Team.

Members of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit’s Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) trained in Walterboro last Wednesday. Team members spent their morning in classroom instruction at the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office on Miller Street and their afternoon at Colleton County Middle School’s playground area participating in a mock raid on an underage drinking party.

There were 19 training participants from the following agencies: the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, the Cottageville Police Department, Walterboro Public Safety, the Colleton County Coroner’s Office, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

During the morning instruction, a session was held concerning “Fake and Fraudulent IDs” (identification cards). The training was sponsored by Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Service (DAODAS) and the 14th judicial circuit AET. Training instructors were Michael George of the state liaison office and Michelle Nienhius, the state prevention coordinator. Both are DAODAS employees.

The Fake and Fraudulent ID training is designed to facilitate shared learning for law enforcement participants who make contact with people displaying fake and fraudulent IDs. It will provide information to law enforcement officers about South Carolina-specific laws that pertain to fake or fraudulent driver’s licenses and/or non-driver’s IDs, said Colleton County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow Coordinator Amanda L. Darden, who attended the training session.

• Fake and Fraudulent ID training objectives are that participants will:

1. Acquire a basic understanding of false and fraudulent IDs.

2. Receive some of the tools necessary to recognize these forms of ID.

3. Understand the impact that fraudulent IDs have on youth access to alcohol, merchants’ businesses, and society at large.

4. Understand common strategies for increasing community support and political will for addressing fraudulent IDs.

5. Acquire enforcement strategies for preventing and addressing the manufacture, use and detection of fraudulent IDs.

The “mock party dispersal” was a simulated exercise that allowed participants to use best-practice controlled party dispersal techniques. Students at the school acted as party-goers, simulating rowdy and tipsy behavior. Team members waited until the party started rockin’ and then came a-knockin,’ spreading throughout the festivities en-mass and herding students into groups to contain them.

Before the activities began, the students were given cups, small rubber balls, and playing cards, as well as other related items with no instruction of what to do with them. Soon a group of students gathered, split into two teams, and formed two triangular-shaped cup formations. They then started trying to bounce the balls into the cups, which seemed to be a simulation of a beer-drinking game.

After the “mock party dispersal” exercise was completed, law enforcement returned to the classroom to debrief on the exercise as a group. This was then followed by one more training component which was centered around underage alcohol consumption and current fads and trends in alcohol use.

All participants will receive continuing credit education hours through the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy for their participation.