OKMULGEE, Okla. — Oklahoma Law Enforcement is staying on their toes, finding new ways to keep fatal accidents involving alcohol at a minimum.
Captain Kevin Smoot says he helped organize this training session to ensure police officers will improve every workday. He emphasized building relationships with the community to help difficulty situations run a lot smoother.
“So far it’s been really interactive, it’s been a really great class. I’ve been in law enforcement for 23 years and this is something our new officers we need to address," Smoot said.
Officials tell us fatal accidents involving alcohol have increased over the years.
The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission planned training Tuesday and Wednesday on how to improve alcohol safety across the state.
Ada Police Captain Jason Potter says while they could make arrests or give tickets, they are exercising new ways to fix the drinking problems.
"We are trying to change the culture of providing alcohol to our babies that are growing up," Potter said.
Potter says they have been learning to get more involved in the community, making sure retailers aren't selling alcohol to under aged teens.
He hopes with the new strategies learned today, they can work to make cities safer.
"These kids, they are not old enough to understand the responsibilities of consuming alcohol and again, its killing our babies and it's killing our families," Potter said.
The class is both educational and hands on, they spent all morning learning about new ways to handle real life situations.
Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, they practiced with interactive learning sessions, doing exactly what they learned during class earlier, but now in the field.
"There was a time where officers would show up to a party and send them home, but that's not really safe. You need to make sure kids are getting home safe, that we aren't letting them drink and drive and that all of this is done in the same way, Smoot said"
Captain Erik Smoot says with these new techniques, they will save lives.
"We know if we disperse these parties early, if we stop the under age access to these things early, then what we end up with is we have less of those suicides, we have less of those fatal crashes that involved alcohol."
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