re:TH!NK’s Alcohol Action Team had a chance to present at the National Alcohol Policy Conference in Arlington, VA in early April. The presentation, “Working with Festival Organizers to Change the Drinking Culture in “Event City” Oshkosh, WI,” went over their festival assessment project they completed in summer 2017. Attendees learned how to evaluate how alcohol is served and sold at community festivals, best practices to reduce the occurrence of underage and binge drinking at community festivals, and the steps necessary to implement this project in other communities.
Kevin Wilkinson came back home to Wisconsin in 1988 to continue his law enforcement career. During his tenure at the Appleton Police Department, Kevin co-chaired the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of Fox Valley Unites, then the prominent AODA coalition for the Fox Cities. One of the subcommittee’s projects received an award from the Attorney General’s office for innovation.
Kevin accepted a call to be police chief in New London, home to the largest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration north of Chicago. Through a partnership with the local licensed alcohol establishments, the annual event has maintained safety and order by focusing on key preventive strategies.
In 2009 Kevin was appointed Police Chief of Neenah, where he continues being a voice speaking against the drinking culture in Wisconsin. He has authored a number of newspaper opinion columns on the topic and is a frequent public speaker. He has advocated for legislative change at the state and local level, and helped bring about a sober server ordinance in Neenah, as well as a ban on drive up alcohol sales. He has also been serving as the chair of the Winnebago County Traffic Safety Commission for the past two years. Along with that, Kevin has been an active participant with the re:TH!NK Alcohol Action Team and has played a key role in their festival scans project.
Kevin will be retiring from law enforcement on June 1, after 34 years in the career.
CHEERS! is a FREE workshop facilitated by local police officers to increase the safe sale and service of alcohol. It is for anyone serving alcohol in any capacity. You’ll learn everything from how to spot fake IDs to your rights related to serving intoxicated individuals.
We have three upcoming CHEERS! Trainings:
- April 23 from 5:30pm-7pm at Menasha Public Library
- May 2 from 6:30pm-8pm at Beckets in Oshkosh
- June 11 from 5:30pm-7pm at Menasha Public Library
This workshop will increase the safe alcohol service for:
- Tavern Owners
- Wait Staff
- Door Security
- Store Clerks
- Special Event Organizers
Topics Covered in CHEERS! Classes:
- Protocol for reporting fake ID’s
- Spotting fake ID’s
- Your establishment’s liabilities, responsibilities, and policies
- Understanding alcohol compliance checks
- Review of local statutes and WI’s state laws
- Your rights regarding sales and service to intoxicated individuals
Call the Winnebago County Health Department at (920) 232-3000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alcohol outlets are places where alcohol is sold, either to drink on the premises (on-sale outlets, which require a Class B license) or off premise (off-sale outlets, requiring a Class A license). Alcohol outlet density indicates the number of physical locations where alcohol is sold per population or geographic area such as a square mile, census tract, or city block.
In 1977, the City of Neenah decided to not issue Class A licenses to any business dispensing gasoline. This was because of an increase in alcohol related problems in the city (Article IV. ALCOHOL BEVERAGES, Section 4-95 (e). –Restrictions, Code of Ordinances, Neenah). In late 2015, convenience store owners appeal to the Neenah City Council to repeal the ban, with the claim that it puts convenience store owners at a competitive disadvantage compared to surrounding communities. The purpose of the ban is to reduce alcohol related harm.
Numerous studies have shown that alcohol outlet density is significantly related to the level of alcohol related harm that neighborhoods experience, particularly violence. Members of re:TH!NK spoke with Neenah City Council on this matter. The Council voted in early 2016 to hold up the alcohol sales limits.