Amherst PD to partner with liquor stores for ‘Cops in Shops’


AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Amherst Police are partnering with local liquor stores to crack down on underage people buying alcohol.

The program is called ‘Cops in Shops.’ It’s funded through grant money from the state. Amherst will send undercover cops into all the town’s liquor stores to try and catch teens with fake I.D’s. Advancements in technology have made spotting a fake I.D. difficult. At Russel’s Liquors they have a fake I.D. detection system. Russell’s has a stack of fake I.D.’s from students. They use them to train employees.

“We take quite a bit during the school year. Probably between 25 to 50 each semester we would see. And having our staff educated on what a fake I.D. would look like from different state,” said Russell’s Liquors Owner Lindsey Matarazzo.

The Amherst Police say their also trying to protect a store and it’s employees from losing their liquor license.

“If somebody goes into a liquor store with a fake I.D. and if the liquor store employees don’t catch that, their license is at risk, meaning the liquor store’s license is at risk,” said Amherst Police Captain Jennifer Gundersen.

But not everyone thinks underage drinking is a big deal.

“I just don’t think so.” said Amherst College student Alexandra Rohde. “I think kids are going to drink regardless of the actions of the Amherst Police, so it’s not really a worthwhile endeavor.”

The Amherst Police say they also randomly check I.D.s at bars and restaurants on Friday’s and Saturdays. The Police say even if they can’t prove the I.D. is fake, usually teens will be nervous and admit to it when approached by an officer.

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