How officials prepare to perform an undercover operation
For some teenagers, being served a six pack of beer may be a rite of passage, but for two teenagers working with the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit in an underage alcohol sales bust, it's just one sale closer to preventing others from a family member's fate or becoming like their father in uniform.
"When I was 11 my uncle died from an overdose of drinking and it just scared me the most so I would never drink."
"He'd tell me stories about him working and everything. I felt proud and everything, you know? I looked up to my dad when he would come home from work."
So for the two 18 year olds, there was no hesitation when they were asked to go undercover in the sting operation. Soon, they were inside the building and being prepped for their first mission.
Officials ran through every detail of the operation, from what to buy to how to use a recording device meant to capture the clerks who sold to the minors.
Officials stressed that they were not trying to entrap the clerks but only see if they're checking for ID and selling alcohol to underage kids.
"If they look at your ID and they say no, you're too young, then just get your ID back and just walk out," said Criminal Investigator Jason Armstrong.
Although it's a lot to take on at a young age and the investigators urged the two high school seniors to stay come, the teens were ready to take on their new roles.
"I feel as though why not be somebody else's role model? Regardless of if it's in law enforcement or whatever. Everybody needs a good role model."
"We all have to follow the rules, it's on them if they choose to do that but they know right from wrong. Everyone should know right from wrong."
The drug unit says finding teens with the right mindset is how they can successfully keep the streets safer.
"It's great to see some young people who are not wanting to go out and drink and help us prevent that from happening," said Armstrong.
For the undercovers, the operation is a step towards fulfilling a lifelong dream of helping others that's now a reality.
"Yeah, it's just like law and order but I can actually do it. It's actually going to be real. I get to experience it myself instead of watching it on television every night.