Fairfield University and law enforcement officials host fake I.D. awareness program



Image: Fairfield CorpsDespite a growing effort to prevent underage drinking in Fairfield County, law enforcement officials say people under the age of 21 are still trying to use fake identification cards to purchase alcohol.

Taking a step towards educating businesses on the problems associated with fake ID use, the Fairfield Police department in association with Fairfield University is sponsoring a training program for restaurants, bars, and liquor stores on how to spot fake IDs.

The forum is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 at Fairfield University on 1073 North Benson Road. The free event will be held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Alumni House.

Scheduled speakers include Fairfield police lieutenant Thomas Mrozek and Stanley Burk, a supervisory agent with the state Department of Liquor Control. The forum will also address laws governing the sale of alcohol, and event organizers said the goal of the forum is to raise alcohol sale compliance rates.

With close to thirty years of law enforcement experience, Mrozek has earned a reputation of being an expert in detecting fake IDs. He explained the Internet is also providing a way for those who are under 21 to obtain illegal IDs, and a quick Google search yields dozens of websites offering fake IDs for as little as $40. "Either making or using a fake ID is illegal, said Mrozek.

Employees from restaurants, liquor and grocery stores who participate in the program will gain the knowledge and confidence needed to recognize bogus IDs. "We did the program last year and it was well attended. Anyone who is involved with the distribution or sale of alcoholic beverages will benefit from the training session," he said.

Funded by a grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the organization behind the fake ID program is Fairfield Corps Coalition; a group of trained professionals and student interns from across the campus community as well as members from the town of Fairfield who have significant experience with underage drinking prevention.

Pam Paulmann, program coordinator for the university-based group said the no cost training is offered to assist and support community retailers by providing up to date information that addresses the fake ID issue.

According to Paulmann, the university and Fairfield Police department have a long history of working together on community service projects. "We commend the police department for their hard work and their continued commitment to this important issue. And we appreciate their support of our programming," she said.

For more information contact Pam Paulmann, Fairfield Corps program coordinator at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2369 or e-mail at ppaulmann@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 28, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 253