Credit: Sydney Brandt | Mustang News

The University Police Department (UPD) conducted a special operation during Open House weekend April 12-13 targeting underage and binge drinking near campus. The operation resulted in 26 citations and 11 arrests, according to UPD.

UPD received $39,209 in grant funding this year from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to hold periodic operations, according to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier. Last weekend’s mission focused on underage drinking and over-intoxication at parties near campus.

The operation followed UPD’s participation in a state-wide undercover operation on March 10.

UPD increased the number of officers on patrol and departments that assist during special enforcement operations, according to Lazier. Such adjustments often take place during typical university binge-drinking holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Open House and Week of Welcome (WOW).

“That’s not to say that University Police do not enforce these issues on weekends when these grant-funded operations don’t take place,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News. “The department enforces those and other laws all the time and works closely with San Luis Obispo Police in patrolling the areas around campus.”

According to Cal Poly Police Chief George Hughes, the special operations focus on the safety of the Cal Poly community and students, coinciding with their overall mission and priorities at UPD.

It is important to community safety and wellbeing to identify effective methods to reduce illegal drinking and over consumption,” Hughes said. “No single approach will entirely address the issues. A combination of methods is required.”

Hughes also noted that some grant funded operations have instead focused on educating the campus community about the dangers of drinking through programs, training, speakers and advertisements to influence students to make responsible decisions. Other special operations have gone beyond Cal Poly students directly and targeted alcohol sales within local businesses.

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