Media Advisory                                              

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2005
Contact: Catherine Dokey
Public Information Officer
(850) 651-7420 

Problem Oriented Policing Squad Suppresses
Underage Sale of Alcohol

To help combat lives being tragically lost due to underage drinking and driving incidents, the Problem Oriented Policing Squad teamed up with the Florida Beverage Department and initiated underage alcohol test buys at eighty-nine convenience stores throughout Okaloosa County .  Carrying only their legal and proper identification and telling the truth when inquired about their age, two sixteen year old children and one seventeen year old were successful in purchasing alcoholic beverages at twenty-one different stores.

The operation was conducted in conjunction with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT).  Fifteen Criminal Summons have been issued at convenience stores and six are remaining to be served.  The charges made by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office will aid ABT in seeking administrative charges against each store for the underage sale of alcohol to a minor. 

The newly restructured Community Services Unit, formerly known as Community Policing, is composed of the Problem Oriented Policing Squad and the Community Oriented Policing Squad.  Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie Morris created this new unit within the Sheriff’s Office out of existing resources at no additional cost to taxpayers.  The Problem Oriented Policing Squad is responsible for investigation and suppression of high impact criminal activity ranging from burglary details, criminal mischief, street level narcotics, prostitution, special events, and any other need designated by Sheriff Charlie Morris.  The Problem Oriented Policing Unit is one of many divisions of the Sheriff’s Office who will work aggressively to identify and target problems and utilize effective tools to combat, monitor, and try to eliminate these problems from our community.