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Law envorcement has resolution for New Year’s revelers

Michael Schneider

South Shore’s casino core will no longer be a haven for underage revel rousers and those up to no good on New Years’s Eve.

The message police hope to send: “Come and enjoy, but, if you intend to get rowdy and screw up, we’re going to take you to jail.”

Cmndr. Bart Owens, of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, told the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association Thursday that law enforcement will have a new philosophy for dealing with out-of-hand partyers on the holiday which draws young people to Tahoe from all over the region.



Owens said the police will be distributing fliers at various college campuses where students are known to frequent Tahoe on New Year’s Eve. The fliers warn of prosecution for various crimes including underage drinking and open containers.

In the past, police have tried to reason with rowdy New Year’s patrons, leading to the neglect and backlog of other problems.



“College kids come here because they know they can get away with anything,” Owens said.

Owens said the police’s philosophy has always been to treat people with dignity and respect, but, with only a handful of officers and so many belligerent guests, they must enforce laws or fall victim to bigger problems.

In addition to the normal New Year’s forces, 40 El Dorado County Sheriff’s officers will join in the fun this year along with several officers on horses and the Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Owens said the ABC will operate stings in the city to try to catch underage drinkers buying alcohol.

“We’re taking a more pro-active role,” Owens said.

While he did say it was a consideration, Owens said the new philosophy was not so much in response to the riots at Hot August Nights in Reno last summer, but rather to prepare for the turn of the century in 13 1/2 months.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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