"Cops in Shops" helps alcohol sellers crack down

By: Krystle Sonmore Email
By: Krystle Sonmore Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - It's free, and it helps stop crime. The "Cops in Shops" program helps give local bars and liquor stores increased knowledge of spotting fake IDs.

"If you're going to have the law that the age is 21, it's good to have enforcement," said Mike King, one individual against underage drinking.

The Grand Junction Police Department and State Liquor Enforcement teamed up to bring the program to any establishment who wanted to learn more and be ready to spot the fakes.

"The idea is to hopefully cut down on the amount of fake IDs that are being used because these employees now have the tools and that knowledge," said Kate Porras, public information officer for the GJPD.

Those tools included hands on training with the State Liquor Enforcement, focusing on what to look for and what to do when presented with a fake ID.

"They had one officer that was back in the office, and one that was out here helping our employees check IDs," said Country Club Liquors owner Francis Denton. "They'd randomly pull drivers licenses and show our employees what to look for in each license."

A few of the telling signs include fuzzy letters, missing or abnormal holograms, and signs of tampering. And the one must-have for all liquor establishments is an updated book of current state drivers licenses for comparison.

"It helps empower them so that kids aren't coming in and trying to buy liquor when they're not supposed to be," said Porras.

While it may seem like silly rules to some, it is really a matter of safety.

"The last thing we want to hear about is someone who was underage drinking and gets into a car accident or gets sexually assaulted," said Porras, "all those types of crimes that can be associated with underage drinking."

"Alcohol needs to be consumed responsibly, otherwise bad things can happen," said King. "It's good both to help kids make those decisions by discouraging them from behaving poorly."

Businesses that want to sign up for the program can call (970) 248-7133.

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