TERRY BOX, Collin County Sheriff: This story was on the local News last night. This is a release from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission. Everyone should make themselves aware of this type of activity. It could be in your neighborhood next.
According to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission: On March 9, 2012 Collin County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) encountered their first Project X party. Project X parties as they are now being referred to by today’s youth are an attempt to recreate a large youth party where no rules apply and underage drinking typically occurs similar to a party in a film created by Warner Bros. titled “Project X” that was released on March 2, 2012. In the film, three high school students throw a house party at one of their homes while their parents are out of town for the weekend. By using social media to promote the party, the teens were able to attract hundreds of people to their event which eventually got out of control and lead to significant amounts of property damage. Police showed up to investigate a noise complaint only to be overwhelmed by the large number of guests and later returned with a SWAT team and helicopters to break up the party.
The Project X party that almost took place in Collin County started off very similar to the one in the film with one major exception, CCSO was prepared to handle and disperse underage drinking parties of any size. Through a federal grant titled “Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws” (EUDL) the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) was able to award pass through funding to CCSO to conduct party patrols and controlled party dispersals as well as other enforcement operations to enforce underage drinking laws.
With this funding the Sheriff’s office was able to purchase equipment and supplies to assist them with conducting party patrols and dispersals which otherwise would not have been available to them. Funding was also provided to pay for the deputies overtime to conduct these types of enforcement operations and assist with party patrol dispersal operations that required additional manpower.
In addition to the funding, TABC provided free TCLEOSE approved trainings to the deputies on how to conduct party patrols, controlled party dispersal techniques and other underage drinking enforcement operations. As a result of this partnership and continued effort to enforce underage drinking laws and promote public safety, CCSO was able to seek assistance from the local TABC office and together device a strategy to handle the upcoming Project X party.
CCSO was made aware of the Project X party that was to take place in the county from two separate sources. While investigating the information the Sheriff’s office discovered that the party was in fact true and being promoted on Craigslist, Facebook and other social media outlets.
The youth hosting the party had selected a foreclosed house thinking that neighbors would not immediately notify local law enforcement officers or file a noise complaint. Deputies contacted the neighboring houses to the foreclosed property for additional information and one neighbor volunteered their driveway to be staged by the Sheriff’s office with six unmarked vehicles to look like a party was taking place at their residence instead of the foreclosed home. Later that evening youth started showing up at the house where the staged vehicles were and deputies turned them away.
Within hours hundreds of youth some from as far away as 50 miles were found in the neighborhood heading for the “party” only to be met by deputies and other local law enforcement officers. As the waves of youth poured in, backup had to be called in to assist with turning the youth around. Four marked vehicles with their overhead lights drove up and down the neighborhood to keep traffic moving and on their way out of the neighborhood. This kept the roads clear and safe and no accidents occurred that evening.
Deputies made over a hundred contacts with youth that night and estimated that well over 400 youth were in the neighborhood to attend the Project X party. At one point deputies made contact with a vehicle where they found and removed a 17 year old female from what could have been a potentially dangerous situation. The female was discovered unclothed and legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level of .193 with five other males.
Luckily the female was found unharmed and she was later released to her parents. As a result of receiving EUDL funding and training from TABC, CCSO was equipped to handle this incident and avoid injuries or even death. There was also no loss or damage to property in the neighborhood that night. By partnering with community members and collaborating with local law enforcement officers, CCSO knew the proper procedures to follow to ensure both public and officer safety.
For further information contact: Mindy Carroll, Director of Education & Prevention for TABC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.206.3420.
WFAA.com Channel 8 story
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