Excise police prepare for game
John Cameron | Wednesday, September 5, 2012
As campus prepares for a weekend of football, parties and tailgates, the Indiana State Excise Police are doubling their efforts to enforce alcohol, tobacco and public safety laws in the area.
Notre Dame has been added to the law enforcement agency’s Intensified College Enforcement (ICE) program, the product of a federal grant funding additional police presence around campuses within Indiana, Excise Police Sergeant Ally Taylor said.
“It’s just an increase in our presence in those areas enforcing alcohol and tobacco laws as well as public safety,” he said. “[Notre Dame] was added this year but [the program] has been in place since last year.”
The initiative began in February, but originally only targeted Ball State University, DePauw University and Indiana University, an Excise Police press release stated.
While the new program will enable more excise officers to patrol the South Bend area, Taylor said it will not impact enforcement by local agencies.
“It doesn’t include other police departments, but we’re always working in collaboration with local law enforcement,” Taylor said. “The ICE enforcement itself is an excise program.”
Taylor said college campuses naturally draw more law enforcement attention during football season.
“Normally during football season there’s a large number of people gathering, tailgating or at house parties, and we end up receiving calls or complaints to investigate,” he said.
Many investigations result from these complaints; however, Taylor said excise is frequently patrolling for suspicious or illegal activity.
“We’re always looking for underage people looking to procure alcohol. If and when those activities occur, and we’re there, we’ll definitely investigate,” he said. “It’s our job to regulate and enforce these laws for the state of Indiana.”
He said the agency is in constant collaboration with the University and student government to encourage a positive working relationship with a common goal of maximizing student safety.
“We’ve met with the on-campus student government as well as the off-campus president,” he said. “I was recently at the Student Safety Summit along with all the law enforcement in St. Joseph County as well as NDSP, talking about not just alcohol and related issues but also security and safety issues.”
Taylor said the ICE program and all of the agency’s efforts are intended to protect, not target students.
“By no means should Notre Dame students feel that officers are after them,” he said. “Their safety and security is of the utmost concern to every law enforcement officer in the area.”