Taking what Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joseph Schatz describes as a proactive approach towards DUIs and underage drinking in our area, the JTPD is now participating in the "Cops In Shops" program which is aimed at preventing alcohol-related problems and reducing fatalities and injuries caused by drunk drivers and underage drinking.

To that end, during this upcoming St. Patrick's Day weekend, JTPD, with the assistance of additional officers from nearby municipalities, will be operating sobriety checkpoints on area roadways.

Chief Schatz and other officers from Jim Thorpe attended Sobriety Checkpoint Training sessions, as required by PENNDOT, at the KME training facility located in Nesquehoning Thursday.

Also attending the training session, which was conducted by Nicholas Bolognese, an instructor for the Institute for Law Enforcement Education, were officers from at least 10 other police departments from Carbon and several other counties.

According to David R. Everly, the Regional Sobriety Checkpoint Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Traffic Safety Network, the only Carbon County police departments not yet participating in the program are Nesquehoning and Kidder Township.

The training consisted of both classroom instruction on rules and regulations and a demonstration of the proper assembly and use of traffic control devices, signs, generators, and other equipment to be used during the operation of sobriety checkpoints.

Additionally, in an effort to prevent alcohol-related problems, while some officers are on the road operating the sobriety checkpoints, there will also be undercover officers walking the streets looking for public drunkedness, underage drinking, etc.

With the ultimate goal being to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by drunk drivers and underage drinking, according to David Everly, if people are aware of the enforcement activity and its in their mind they might think twice about drinking and driving.