Police crack down on illegal alcohol consumption, sales

Operation NightCAP is funded by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Police issued more than 140 underage drinking citations, arrested 12 people for serving alcohol to minors and seized 30 kegs from house parties this weekend, Minneapolis police Lt. Jeff Rugel said.

Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department, University police and the State Patrol worked together Friday and Saturday nights l0ooking for underage drinking, unlicensed alcohol sales, drunk drivers and other disruptive behavior.

“At the beginning of the (school) year, we do put on more officers,” said Minneapolis Police Department’s Sgt. Kate Palmborg.

The effort was part of a program called Operation NightCAP (Nighttime Concentrated Alcohol Patrol). Several officers on bicycles and in “party cars” were assigned to handle only complaints or concerns with parties.

Operation NightCAP is funded by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The program also has a branch called Operation NightCAP Junior, which focuses on education about the consequences of underage drinking. They also have officers on duty looking specifically for alcohol-related liaisons.

The first weekend back in school, and special events such as Spring Jam and Homecoming weekend, are busy times for law enforcement, Palmborg said.

Student Kate Kilander said compared to previous years, there seemed to be more police officers out than usual, especially near fraternity houses.

One member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity said he saw Operation NightCAP in action when a student was standing on the sidewalk with an open bottle.

“(Police) handcuffed him, gave him a ticket and let him go,” Tau Kappa Epsilon member Jon Gohman said.

Gohman said this type of enforcement is necessary. If people are drunk and out of control, he said, police should take action.

“I don’t like it, but I guess it’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s the cop’s job.”

While parties raged in other parts of campus, some residence halls were not particularly affected by Operation NightCAP.

“It’s been a little rowdy, but that’s expected,” Territorial Hall community adviser Erika Meyer said.