JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Sheriff's Department, which recently charged 75 people at an underage drinking party in Perth, is keeping the heat on minor consumers of alcohol.
The department has been awarded $20,000 in state grant funds to combat drinking by people under 21 in the county.
News of the grant was imparted by Sheriff Thomas Lorey at the Board of Supervisors' Public Safety Committee meeting Monday at the County Office Building.
He said the county was notified it was awarded $20,000 in grant funds from the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services and the Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery Prevention Council.
"This is to continue our campaign against underaged drinking in the county," Lorey said.
His department received a similar $11,865 state grant in June 2011.
He requested a proposed board resolution to accept the grant funds and to amend the 2012 county budget to reflect the changes. The committee approved the proposed resolution. The Finance Committee will review the proposal this week, and the full board will consider the resolution Aug. 13.
Lorey said the money will be appropriated by putting $15,000 into a sheriff's overtime account, with the other $5,000 put in a "special deputies" account.
He said he will have directed patrols on the weekends and during selected times, enforcing underage drinking laws throughout the county.
Lorey informed supervisors his department "will seek out underage drinking parties, patrol during special events, do alcohol sting purchases using underage decoys, and community presentations."
He said the effort will include a combination of staffing levels using overtime to supplement regular patrol staffing. Lorey said he will also use per diem employees to enhance enforcement activities.
The Sheriff's Department on Monday announced 75 people aged 16 to 23 were charged by deputies - mostly with trespassing - from a large party July 19 at a vacant residence in the town of Perth. Suspects were mainly from Gloversville, Johnstown, Amsterdam, Fort Johnson, Broadalbin, Fonda and Fultonville. Those suspects will appear later in Perth Town Court. The investigation into that party is continuing, authorities said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.