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Tempe police working to keep Arizona State University students safe

Posted at 4:35 AM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-10 08:06:19-05

The Tempe Police Department's latest goal is to make sure Arizona State University students can have a good time without leading to jail time - or so much worse.

Monday is Graduation Day and thousands of students are preparing to celebrate the big day. But, with college parties comes drinking. 

Tempe police have just received a new grant to make sure anyone drinking doesn't get behind the wheel, putting us all in danger. 

The $80,000 grant will mean that more officers will be on patrol on the weekend and at night, when most of these parties are happening. 

"We've seen, you know, some of the parties, can get very large and can go into the late hours and people make poor decisions," Sgt. Damon DeSpain with the Tempe Police Department. 

Poor decisions that do not just put college kids in danger, but anyone on the roadway who crosses their path.

"Those under 21 are sometimes the ones that are making the poor decisions and they're driving," Sgt. DeSpain explained. 

That lack of experience paired with underage drinking is the reason why some choose to drive when they should not. So, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety recently awarded Tempe police that grant. 

"We really take a two-prong approach to it," Sgt. DeSpain described.

The first part is education. 

"Twice a year, we're teaching a class on youth alcohol enforcement, the party ordinance in the city of Tempe, and sexual assault awareness," Sgt. DeSpain said.

The second is enforcement and targeting those out-of-control parties before they end up out on the roadway.

And Sgt. DeSpain said those ASU students are much more receptive to safe partying than people may think. 

"There are still parties and they're still enjoying themselves and getting together, but it's that culture shift in doing it in a safe manner," Sgt. DeSpain said.