PA Liquor Control Officers Return to Carlisle: Doing More Harm Than Good?

Mason McIntyre '22, Guest Writer

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement Officers (LCE) have returned to the Carlisle area and created tension with some students at Dickinson College. 

Aislynn Bell ’25 shared her insight on the subject, “In my opinion, I believe these officers are doing more harm than good. I hope that if students are in need of help they feel comfortable contacting the campus police without fear of punishment.” Bell also said that “I feel as though the presence of these officers creates a feeling of distrust between students and law enforcement and creates an unsafe environment for students on campus.” 

One student has a different approach, Joshua Whittemore ’25, says that this “seems like a waste of resources and this effort should be instead focused on retooling RA’s. This does not seem practical.” He continued by saying that “while Dickinson College might have little impact on the presence of these officers’ different steps could be taken.”

Lindsay Kent ’25 disagrees, arguing that while “the RA system might work for minor disturbances, there’s only so much power one student has over others, especially when they’re only a year or so apart.” Kent continued by saying, “the role of state troopers in this circumstance isn’t just for the convenience of Dickinson students, it’s for the good of the entire community.” It is unclear how long the officers will remain in the area and what impact they will have on the community.

An email communication from Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students George Stroud sent Mar. 31, said that the officers are intending to seek out violators of PA liquor laws and “issue citations to individuals who appear publicly intoxicated.” The email communication was nearly identical to one that was sent Sep. 15 to all students. Stroud goes on to remind students of the liquor laws in Pennsylvania including a legal drinking age of 21, illegal possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a public space and disturbing the peace.

Toward the end of the communication Stroud said, “I strongly encourage all students to consider your attitudes and behavior regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages.” The email also mentions that law enforcement officers may address citizens who exhibit signs of public intoxication and that providing alcohol to minors is illegal. Stroud mentions that “the agents are employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are granted the authority to issue citations and detain and/or arrest citizens in violation of liquor laws.

Stroud goes on to say students could “consider contacting Dickinson College DPS (Department of Public Safety) and request that a DPS officer respond to the scene for assistance,” and contact number (717-245-1111) and 911 are provided to do so. Stroud said that LCE officers “are not required to wear uniforms and may drive unmarked vehicles.” The email continues by saying that LCE officers “should have a vest or shirt that identifies them as a liquor control enforcement officer. When in doubt, please politely ask the officer to provide you with their identification.”

Students with any questions regarding communication are told to contact Chief of Dickinson College DPS Dee Danser ([email protected]) or Stroud ([email protected]) himself at their emails.