Policy Development is one component in a comprehensive approach to creating a shift in community norms and standards through environmental prevention strategies.
Policy is an agreed upon course of action for addressing problems within a community, agency, institution or other organized entity. Policy development in an environmental prevention campaign provides solutions that focus on creating sustainable change at the community level. Policies can be effective in establishing desired change in a community norms and standards. Research has shown policies that improve public health and safety:
- Have the potential to reduce alcohol problems
- Are relatively inexpensive to implement and maintain
- Frequently have greater local citizen support than expected
Policies often are thought of as laws or ordinances, but policies also can be simple practices or procedures. These types of informal policies can be put in place by businesses, organizations or institutions, such as schools. The different types of policies with examples related to alcohol can be seen in the table below.
|Type of Policy||Definition||Example Related to Alcohol|
|Public Policy||Local ordinances or state laws that affect a large portion of the population||Restricting open alcohol containers on public property, including streets and parks|
|Institutional Policies||Policies put in place by established institutions or organizations including schools, universities or other community or civic organizations||School initiated ban on alcohol at school-sponsored events|
|Practices / Procedures||More informal actions typically adopted by choice as opposed to required by law||Law enforcement shifting resources to emphasize party patrols. Business choosing to limit alcohol advertising|
The goals and objectives of the Policy Panel are centered on establishing new community norms and the establishment of standards for behavior through improved enforcement of existing policies and the implementation of new or improved policies. Currently, the focus of the Policy Panel is on policies, practices and procedures that impact the social and retail availability of alcohol in communities throughout San Diego County.