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Published February 26, 2011, 08:37 PM

EGF Police Department Gets Grant For Undercover Cops

A Minnesota teen thinks a new grant for the East Grand Forks Police Department will help with underage drinking. The grant will help law enforcement crack down on violations.

A Minnesota teen thinks a new grant for the East Grand Forks Police Department will help with underage drinking.

The grant will help law enforcement crack down on violations.

18-year-old Kayla Swanson has seen quite a few people her age drinking.

"Mostly yeah Seniors and people that just graduated." Swanson said.

Swanson says more enforcement may help some people from making bad decisions.

"My opinion on underage drinking maybe like higher prices if they caught for minors."

Swanson may see less people drinking after the East Grand Forks Police Department receives a grant to put extra undercover officers on the street.

" Up to 2 extra officers on the street at night in plain clothes. They'll be there to assist the other officers with underage drinking parties." East Grand Forks Patrolman Seth Merkens said.

The grant of almost 3-thousand dollars will pay for these undercover cops overtime over the next couple months.

This grant will not only help East Grand Forks Police to crack down on underage drinkers but adults who buy alcohol for them.

"If we go to a party and there's people over 21 there and there's people under 21 there. The older people who most likely bought the alcohol for the party will also be cited." Merkens said.

Adults who buy alcohol for minors, which is a gross misdemeanor, could face up to a year in jail or up to a 3-thousand dollar fine. Officers hope with more enforcement, less people are inclined to buy for minors.

"If there's a big party and the 2 officers who are in on that anyways can't deal with all the kids we'll be able to call on more people under this grant." Merkens said.

And teenagers like Swanson may see less people their age drinking.

" It'll prevent some people from doing it." Swanson said.

Officers say they get called more for underage parties whenever school is in session.

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