Kudos to Cmdr. Keenan Williams for his full disclosure to the community at the middle school alcohol and substance use forum [Keeping the smoke, drugs away from kids, News, April 13]. In addition to reporting the number of underage drug arrests (21 in 2009, 36 in 2010 and six so far this year), he reported on the number of “parties” police responded to involving underage drinking. In 2010, police were called to 27 events, and five so far in 2011.

While this police data understates the volume of underage drinking and drug abuse, it provides a way to measure the success or failure of the community’s attempts to reduce opportunities for kids to binge drink in large gatherings, or do illegal drugs in public spaces.

Reporting of juvenile drug and alcohol arrests has already begun. Hopefully, we will also see this data, including interventions in juvenile drinking parties, reported annually.

Connie Coleman
Oak Park

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