Police cite about a dozen for drinking in public
Published: Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
Clovis police sent a message Friday that softball and beer do not go together on city property, according to officials. Approximately a dozen people were cited Friday for drinking in public during a softball tournament at Guy Leeder Softball Complex. Police said Friday’s arrests were part of an initiative to curb alcohol consumption in the parking area outside the athletic complex during night softball games, according to Lt. James Schoeffel of the Clovis Police. Schoeffel said the problem has been an ongoing one. City Manager Joe Thomas said alcohol consumption outside games has become more prevalent in recent years. He said players and spectators are part of the issue. “They need to realize the parking lot is not the place to (drink),” Thomas said. “Softball by its nature is a warm-weather activity — people want to have fun in the sun and sometimes alcohol goes with that. But there’s a time and a place, and a city park is not the place to (drink),” he said. Surprised at the number arrested Friday, Thomas said, “There were even signs posted — the people had ample notification.” Roger Jackson, tournament coordinator for the Clovis Softball Association, said police informed the softball association early in the season they would be doing extra patrols of the parking areas during games. Jackson said the softball association made a concerted effort during this weekend’s 23rd annual Plateau Wireless Custom Classic to let people know police are checking for alcohol consumption in the parking areas during games. He said posters were hung and numerous announcements were made. The tournament drew 126 softball teams from all over the state and Texas. An estimated 3,700 players and spectators were drawn to the three-day event that began Friday, according to Jackson. Schoeffel said police enforcement of liquor laws at games will go on as long as the problem continues. There is no alcohol allowed inside the complex, and Jackson said the association enforces the policy but the parking areas are city property. The only city property in Clovis where drinking is permitted is the Civic Center, which has obtained a license to serve alcohol, Thomas said. Alcohol is prohibited on all other city property and facilities, he said.
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