Northfield Police charged 18 area teens with underage consumption of alcohol last week at a party attended by almost two dozen young people. Northfield Police Captain Roger Schroeder said police were called to the residence at 1817 Washington St. South around 11 p.m. last Saturday to investigate complaints of a loud party where underage drinking was possibly occurring… When police got there, they knocked on the door, but no one answered, Schroeder said. Officers then obtained a search warrant and contacted officers with ZAP, Rice County’s Zero Alcohol Providers unit. ZAP, a coordinated effort of Rice County law enforcement agencies, is designed to reduce underage drinking. When a law enforcement agency suspects underage drinking, they can use ZAP to call upon other county law enforcement agencies for assistance.
The newspaper included the names and ages of the teens arrested (those 18 and older) but only the address of the house, not the owner, easily found via a search of the Rice County property database. (Photo is from a medical website. I use it here for dramatic effect since, according to the paper, “One teen, who was ill, was treated by EMTs at the scene and released.”)
I talked with a dad of one of the teens arrested. He said the kids didn’t answer the door because they assumed the cops wouldn’t take the time to get a search warrant from a judge at that late hour. One of our Rice County judges got woken up, signed the warrant, and the ZAP team responded, breaking down the door to gain entry. The dad I talked to didn’t know any details about the homeowner but had heard that teen who lived at the house was not there for much of the party.
This is the second ZAP raid that I know of. The other happened in January in Lonsdale. See this Nfld News article: Bust leads to 15 underage drinking citations.
ZAP appears to be an innovative and effective program. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any local web site that has information about it that’s easily linked to: Not the Rice County Sheriff, not the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI), not the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use, not the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition. All I found were stories about ZAP in misc PDF and Word doc newsletters and meeting minutes. ‘Twould be cool if someone could rectify this and include these recent ‘success’ stories… and the cool poster that I’ve seen around town.