Webster’s defines altruism as “feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness”. One of the definitions of heroic is “exhibiting or marked by courage and daring; supremely noble or self-sacrificing”. So what is the word for someone who puts themselves at great risk by breaking the law with no chance for any personal gain for themselves, just to benefit a total stranger? Would it be heroic altruism, or simply a lack of judgement?
The Folsom Police department put local people to the test this weekend in their operation of a “Shoulder Tap” sting. In this type of operation, which they have done before, they enlist the help of a minor to stand outside of a liquor store to ask adults to purchase alcohol for them. They minor decoy makes it quite clear that they cannot buy it themselves because they are underage. They provide anyone willing to help with the money, and wait outside for the willing person to purchase and deliver the booze to them. The entire time the minor is under direct observation and supervision of an officer from Folsom PD.
Once the adult has handed over the liquor, the minor leaves the scene and the officers take over, placing the person under arrest for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The citation usually carries no jail time, but the violator is hit with a minimum $1000.00 fine and 24 hours of community service.
On Friday, two people were caught in the sting. 55-year-old Ricky Enrhardt of Orangevale and 29-year-old Doreen Villa of Folsom were each arrested in separate incidents. Villa herself had been arrested in 2009 while she was 25 for public intoxication in Folsom on Natoma Street.
Folsom is one of 12 California Communities that were selected to be part of the state funded Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, an effort to reduce excessive drinking by 12 to 25-year-olds through environmental-level strategies. The three year plan works with local police, county agencies and school districts, along with privately funded organizations, such as People Reaching Out, to focus on accomplishing their common goals. The last operation like this for Folsom was in March, when two men were arrested for the same thing. The shoulder tap sting is just one strategy, along “party patrols”, which target large gatherings of minors in homes and public places, and undercover operations in bars and restaurants that may sell to minors, all in an effort to reduce access of alcohol to underage drinkers. Police will consider their efforts a success when no one responds to the request to buy or provide alcohol for minors.
CrimeVoice: Alcohol sting nets two men