When a police officer approaches a group of teenagers partying and having a good time, it’s usually not a good thing. When UP Officer Andrew Phelps and Tim Kelly from Geneseo First Response (GFR) approached the main lounge of Suffolk Hall, however, the residents and RAs happily greeted them and had them join the party. This past “Thirsty Thursday” the Suffolk residents learned about underage drinking instead of engaging in it.
Officer Phelps Lays Down the Laws
The music in the main lounge was lowered, bachata dancing ceased, and everyone abandoned their games of “candy pong” to watch the presentation. Phelps, who has been on the force for seven years, began by unfolding a presentation board listing the different laws concerning underage drinking, false identification, and the new amnesty law that went into effect in 2011.
The amnesty law states that if a person is to call the authorities to help another who is under the influence they will not be punished, even if they are underage and/or under the influence, as well. However, Phelps clarified that if they are responding to such a call and find someone who is underage and under the influence that didn’t make the call, that person will face the ramifications.
Next Phelps discussed the rules and regulations concerning fake IDs. He warned students against walking around with more than one form of identification at a time (excluding the student ID), because it could raise suspicion. However, those who are caught with a fake ID can ask the judge to reduce the maximum fine, especially if they are a first time offender.
A Routine Call for GFR
After explaining the legal side of underage drinking Kelly stepped in to give a demonstration of how GFR, step-by-step, responds to a call. Kelly, first assistant chief and senior mathematics major here in Geneseo, called for a volunteer. First, he asked the volunteer how they felt, and then for an ID to record demographics and medical history.
He then took the volunteer’s blood pressure and pulse—which may upset some ladies as nail polish is removed prior to assure accurate results from the finger monitor.
Next he examined the volunteer’s breathing and pupils before doing a sensory/reflex check. One tip Kelly gave the residents was that if a student calls for assistance he or she should create a clear path and stay out of the way to make the respondents’ job easier. If the person is taken to the hospital, he advises roommates/friends to gather their cell phones and a change of clothes to give the ambulance staff.
Once Kelly finished, the presentation concluded. Afterward the presenters mingled with the students as the party continued. To Phelps and Kelly, getting to know the students is just as important as protecting them.