Area law enforcement officers from the Boone Police Department and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office are spending extra time visiting area businesses in preparation for Watauga High School’s prom this weekend.
As a part of prevention efforts with the Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention collaborative, WHS School Resource Officer Andrew Absher and a team of law enforcement officers are going door-to-door asking local businesses to remain vigilant in preventing youth access to alcohol and drugs.
“By holding each other accountable, we help ensure the future of our youth,” SRO Absher said.
Through a contract provided by WSAP, SRO Absher organizes regular enforcement efforts on and off of Watauga High School’s campus to prevent underage drinking and substance use.
This year, Watauga High School’s prom is taking place in Avery County, adding extra challenges with regard for monitoring young people and preventing high-risk behaviors. Officers have been out in the community speaking with employees in restaurants, grocery stores and hotels, informing them of the upcoming prom weekend and asking them to be on high alert for youths who may be trying to purchase or consume alcohol underage. So far, officers have visited over 70 area businesses.
WSAP is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug-Free Communities Support Program, a program proposed to be cut in the FY 18 President’s Budget Request. Since receiving funding in 2012, WSAP has organized dozens of community partners in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based prevention strategies. As a result, Watauga County has seen significant reductions in youth substance use.