Reading Police Conduct Shoulder Tap Operations

The operation was conducted with the support of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) grant funds.

The following was submitted by the Reading Police Department:

The conducted a Shoulder Tap Operation on August 23, 2012 with the support of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) grant funds.  This initiative focuses on discouraging adults from purchasing alcohol purchases for youth.  Officers notify the businesses prior to the start of the operation.  The program sends minors to liquor retail stores to “tap on the shoulder” and solicits adults to buy alcohol for them. 

Officers worked with underage operatives to conduct this operation.  Operatives solicited thirty-two adults at four local establishments.  Of the thirty-two solicitations, only one adult agreed to purchase alcohol for the minor.  The individual that furnished the alcohol to the minor will be summonsed to Woburn District Court for the violation. Individuals that refused the minor were approached by officers to explain the operation.

Shoulder Taps is just one of many tactics that RCASA, Police, School and Town partners are implementing.  Other approaches to reduce underage drinking and drug use include:

  • Compliance Checks
  • Party Patrols
  • Surveillance
  • Enforcement, Diversion & Referrals to Substance Abuse Treatment
  • School & Police Policy Improvements
  • Additional staffing and training in policing, health education, behavioral health and prevention programs.

According to the most recent Reading Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2011, eighteen percent of local high school age students and seventeen percent of middle school students got adults (other than a relative or friend) to purchase alcohol for them. The Reading Police Department requests your cooperation in reducing underage drinking by not furnishing alcohol to a minor.


Robert MacDougal August 28, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Rob August 28, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I agree. With all of the break ins, it seems there are better uses of people's time
Jim Pothier August 28, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Entrapment or not, at least 31 people were smart enough to say no to these kids, and the other guy will have to live with his mistake and pay out a lot in court costs.
Joe Veno August 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Most people complain when alcohol is involved in a situation involving a minor(s). The Police try to do something about it and some people call it entrapment. This is not entrapment.This is good police work and may save a life.


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