Friday, September 21, 2012

OCSD Gets $100K grant to fight Alcohol-related Crime

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, California – The Orange County Sheriff’s Department OCSD) today announced it  has been  awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to battle alcohol-related crime.

According to Sheriff Sandra Hutchens “the Sheriff’s Department will use the grant funding to expand our specialized task forces to target crimes related to the sale of alcohol, over-intoxication and narcotics related problems through the use of multiple enforcement and education strategies,”

For example, just last Friday, September 14, Sheriff’s deputies and ABC agents conducted a “Minor Decoy” operation at licensed establishments in unincorporated South Orange County, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Trabuco Canyon and Ladera Ranch. The businesses included liquor stores, convenience stores, bars and restaurants. The operation uses individuals, who are under the age of 20, to attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages. If the minor decoy is able to purchase alcohol, the business is issued a criminal citation and may also face administrative disciplinary action.  

While the OCSD reported  100% compliance from the establishments visited during the “Minor Decoy” operation last week and that all businesses visited requested to see identification and denied sale to the minors, one subject was issued a citation after observing the decoy was denied alcohol and subsequently offered and purchased alcohol for the decoy. The subject was cited and released for the violation.

This grant is one of 58 awarded in California that will assist more than 80 law enforcement agencies through ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP).
“The program improves the quality of life in neighborhoods,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith. “We’ve seen a real difference in the communities where the grant program resources have been invested.”

The GAP Program was created in 1995 to strengthen partnerships between ABC and local law enforcement agencies. The program is designed to put bad operators out of business, keep alcohol away from minors and bring penalties such as fines, suspensions or revocations against businesses that violate the law. The GAP Program has distributed over $20 million to local law enforcement to combat alcohol-related crime. ABC is a Department of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

While we applaud ABC and the OCSD’s efforts, use of these funds is reactive, as opposed to sending the funds directly to the target communities.  A summary of our research over the last ten years can be found here, including other recommendations.

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