NEWTOWN -- The Newtown Police Department's crackdown on underage drinking earned it the Outstanding Police Department award at the Governor's Prevention Partnership's 12th annual Law Enforcement Conference on June 11.

"We were really surprised to receive the award," said Chief Michael Kehoe , who accepted it on behalf of the department. "Our goal is to reduce underage drinking, and we've been doing just that."

The department has been sending a clear message that underage drinking and drug abuse will not be tolerated.

"The department has been working with the Prevention Council , we've been going to schools to talk to students, and we've been working on the enforcement piece of it through grants," Kehoe said.

"The most effective way to reach teens is definitely through other teens," he added. "We've been reaching out to the parents as well, because they may know about certain things but don't talk to their kids."