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North Bay Officers Practice Party Busting Tactics

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Students raise glasses of beer in a toast (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Students raise glasses of beer in a toast (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

PETALUMA (BCN) – North Bay police officers raided a simulated teen drinking party in Petaluma Thursday afternoon.

The raid of a mock drinking party at the Petaluma Community Center was a drill for 30 police officers from Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties who practiced crowd control and dispersal techniques.

Dozens of teens volunteered to participate in the drill.

Police practiced monitoring exits to make sure no intoxicated teens leave the party, announcing their presence and presenting themselves in a non-threatening way so teens don’t flee, and providing medical attention when needed, said Gary Najarian, an alcohol and drug prevention coordinator with the Marin County Health and Human Services Department.

Officers focused on preserving evidence of any drug use or sexual assaults that might have occurred at the party, said Kerry Mensior, a member of the San Diego Police Department and trainer for the national Maryland-based Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center.

Teen drinking parties have the potential to result in crimes that go beyond alcohol consumption, Mensior pointed out.

Najarian said one goal of the training is to shift the focus from the teen drinkers to the adults or older siblings who will be held accountable for hosting the party and providing the alcohol.

Some cities in the North Bay and elsewhere have enacted social host ordinances that hold accountable anyone who hosts a gathering where minors drink or possess alcohol, whether an adult is present or not.

The ordinances often involve fines and cost recovery fees that reimburse law enforcement agencies that respond to the parties.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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