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U.S. Department of Justice

 For Immediate Release—September 12, 2002


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) released a new publication to help law enforcement agencies respond to the problem of rave parties today. Rave Parties is a practical guide that addresses the factors that contribute to the problem, discusses methods for analyzing the problem, and examines strategies that have been successful in different parts of the country.

Rave parties, or raves, are dance parties that feature fast-paced electronic music, accompanying light shows, and encourage the use of a wide variety of drugs. The author of the Guide, Michael S. Scott, found that these drugs are used both to enhance users' sensory perceptions and increase their energy levels so that they can dance for extended periods of time.

Raves present a unique challenge for law enforcement. Strict enforcement of the law - as many communities that find themselves beset with raves demand - can alienate the community's youth from law enforcement. To ignore raves, however, puts that youth population at risk of dangers ranging from drug overdoses to driving under the influence of controlled substances. This guide can help law enforcement professionals use community policing strategies to address this growing problem.

"Rave parties represent a complex challenge for American law enforcement," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "The safety of the community and the participants must be protected, but without building walls between youth and police. This guide will help law enforcement address this very difficult situation."

Rave Parties is the most recent volume in a series of Problem Oriented Policing guides developed by the COPS Office. It can be downloaded from the COPS website at, or it may be obtained by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice Response Center at 800.421.6770.

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