Tempe police launch 'Safe and Sober' campaign as classes begin at ASU

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Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 12:00 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Tempe police are launching a campaign aimed at alcohol abuse and other safety problems as fall classes get underway at Arizona State University.

The department's "Safe and Sober" campaign starts Thursday and will run through Sept. 6.

"Tonight's our first night of Safe and Sober," says Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley. "Our mission tonight is to make sure we go out, contact as many people as we can, let them know that we want them to be safe. There are a lot of ways they can do that. And a big portion of that is not drinking and driving."

Elements of the Safe and Sober campaign include increased patrols, drunken-driving enforcement, liquor law inspections and enforcement of ordinances related to social events.

Agencies and offices partnering with Tempe police in the campaign include the Fire Department, ASU and social-service agencies.

The campaign's resources will be primarily dedicated to the weekends, starting Thursday nights.  Uniformed police officers from 15 agencies will engage in proactive measures to include increased patrols, DUI enforcement, crime prevention contacts, liquor law inspections for licensed premises, and social host ordinance enforcement across Tempe.  
 
"Each year Tempe experiences an influx of more than 10,000 new freshmen, many away from home for the first time," police tell us. "More than 50,000 students attend classes on Tempe's ASU campus alone. This poses unique public safety challenges which demand that we work together as a community to do everything we can to keep students safe."

The annual "Safe & Sober" campaign includes partners from Tempe's Neighborhood Office, Fire Medical Rescue Department, Community Services, Arizona State University, Tempe Police and local social service agencies such as Tempe Coalition, working together to reduce underage drinking and drug use to keep people safe and stem related crime.

Chief of Police Tom Ryff shared the goals and objectives of the Safe & Sober campaign: "As public safety professionals and as a community, our highest responsibility is to assure we are doing everything we can to keep children, young people and all members of the community safe," he says.

"Tempe PD's partnership with ASU's Office of Student Judicial Affairs, Off-Campus Housing Programs, Arizona Board of Regents and ASU PD remains strong," states Chief Ryff.  "Each year Tempe experiences an influx of more than 10,000 new freshmen, many away from home for the first time.  More than 50,000 students attend classes on Tempe's ASU campus alone.  This poses unique public safety challenges which demand that we work together as a community to do everything we can to keep students safe."

Throughout the fall semester, Tempe PD will be hosting multiple DUI Enforcement campaigns conducted in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Liquor Control, neighboring law enforcement agencies, including ASU PD, and the Governor's Officer of Highway Safety.

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