Letter: Training helps preserve alcohol sellers’ clean underage record

To the editor:

As part of an environmental strategy to proactively deal with the issue of underage drinking under the Tiverton Prevention Coalition’s Drug Free Communities grant, the coalition  recently sponsored a TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) Off – Premises and False ID certification training for the  nine Class A alcohol vendors (package stores) in the  towns  of Tiverton, Little Compton and Portsmouth.

The Class A vendors have been effectively monitored by their respective police departments for compliance checks and have had exemplary records of no sales to minors for the past several years. As a result of this record, the Prevention Coalitions in the three towns wanted to thank these establishments for their efforts by providing this training certification at no cost to any of their employees.

Rhode Island law does not require certification for employees in Class A establishments as it does for other license holders who serve alcohol by the drink, and certification is strictly voluntary. All nine package stores were contacted several times to make them aware of this opportunity and to solicit their involvement in this effort.

On Sunday March 3, the TIPS off- Premises and False ID certification training was held at the Sandywoods Arts Center in Tiverton. Eleven employees and owners participated in the training facilitated by Rebecca Elwell, coordinator of  the Tiverton and Little Compton Prevention Coalitions, and  Ray Davis, coordinator of the Portsmouth Prevention Coalition. The trainers were  officer Kevin Parsonage, a 24 year veteran community police officer with the Newport Police Department and a nationally recognized false ID trainer, and Donna Darmody, director of health, education, alcohol and drug coordinator at Roger Williams University and a TIPS training instructor and a member of the Portsmouth Prevention Coalition.

All nine Class A vendors in the three communities were invited to send their employees to this certification training for re-certification or new certification to keep current with the latest trends and developments in the law and with ID’s as well as potential situations they may well run up against in their roles. Several stores declined to participate stating that their employees were all up to date, but three stores did agree to participate

The Tiverton Prevention Coalition and our partners in Portsmouth and Little Compton would like to express our appreciation to the staff and owners of all nine Class A vendors for their vigilance in not selling alcohol to minors and especially to the staff and management of Moriarty’s Liquor Locker, Allen’s Wine & Spirits, in Portsmouth and Adamsville Wine & Spirits in Adamsville for their cooperation and congratulate them on their successful certifications.

Substance abuse prevention is a community problem that can only be solved by community involvement at many levels and we wanted you to be aware of this voluntary effort put forth by some of the vendors in our respective communities.

Rebecca Elwell

Coordinator, Tiverton and Little Compton Prevention Coalition

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