Saturday, 1:45 p.m.
Ever wondered about your local law enforcement agency–and how much alcohol enforcement they’re doing?
Well, if they got an ABC grant, they’re doing A LOT.
Hard to believe it’s been almost 15 years since I helped design and launch the Grant Assistance Program (GAP) while working in ABC’s Sacramento Headquarters.
After ABC announced the program, police and sheriff’s departments far and wide sweated for days and weeks writing their proposals. They had to describe their local alcohol-related crime problem– and how they’d use an ABC grant to solve them.
The reward: A grant of up to $100,000 to each of 15 law enforcement agencies. The big bucks–primarily to be used for officer overtime–would help the agencies prevent and fight alcohol-related crime in and around their most crime-ridden licensed businesses.
Why the grant program?
• In the early 1990s, state and local budget crunches had dried up resources for alcohol-related law enforcement (sound familiar?)
• Local enforcement agencies were reassigning officers to street patrol and violent crime suppression
• The number of disorderly/disruptive licensed businesses was on the rise, and communities were demanding stronger liquor law enforcement
• Our Governor at the time, Pete Wilson, started an anti-crime initiative
• There was a huge need to control disorderly and disruptive licensed businesses (liquor stores and bars, primarily) that had magnets for crime such as fights, drunks, gang activity, late-night noise, loitering, litter and so on.
As ABC explained, much of the crime took place because:
“ . . . (a) Business owners were unaware of their responsibilities to maintain a lawfully operated establishment,
(b) Sufficient laws were not in place to hold business owners responsible for nuisance activities outside their business,
(c) Community partnerships needed to be strengthened, and
(d) Local law enforcement did not always have the expertise or resources to deal with the problem. . . . ”
(California ABC, Application for 2002 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing, p. 3)
So . . . in 1995, ABC set the GAP Program in motion. Because of the GAP Program’s success in reducing alcohol-related crime and calls for service and improving the quality of life in communities, it continues today.
During FY 2009-10, 38 agencies received GAP funds totalling nearly $2 million.
If your business is located in one of the following cities, your odds are higher than most of being visited by your local law enforcement agency:
Fiscal Year 2009-10 GAP Agencies
Azusa Police Dept * Bell Gardens Police Dept/Huntington Park PD/South Gate PD * Berkeley Police Dept Berkeley * Regents of the University of CA on behalf of UC Berkeley PD * Capitola Police Dept * Chula Vista Police Dept * Clearlake Police Dept * Corona Police Dept * Costa Mesa Police Dept * Folsom Police Dept * Fresno Co. Sheriff’s Dept * Hawthorne Police Dept * Inglewood Police Dept * Kern Co. Sheriff’s Dept * Laguna Beach Police Dept * Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept/Field Operations Region III * Los Angeles Police Dept * Madera Police Dept * Mendocino Co. Sheriff’s Dept * Modesto Police Dept * Monterey Police Dept * Murrieta Police Dept * Oakland Police Dept * Orland Police Dept * Pleasant Hill Police Dept * Ponoma Police Dept * Riverside Police Dept * San Diego Co. Sheriff’s Dept/Encinitas Station * San Diego Co. Sheriff’s Dept/Imperial Beach Station * San Francisco Police Dept * San Jose Police Dept * Seal Beach Police Dept/Los Alamitos PD * Simi Valley Police Dept * Sonoma Co. Sheriff’s Dept * Tulare Police Dept * Vacaville Police Dept * Woodland Police Dept * Yuba City Police Dept
But remember, just because your business is NOT in one of these cities, the ABC or local law enforcement might STILL visit you. The GAP Program supplements, and doesn’t replace, regular ABC enforcement. And GAP teams visit all types of businesses, not just liquor stores and bars.
In my next blog, I’ll tell you how the GAP Program works . . .
And some of the controls you should have in place to stay in compliance.
Stay Safe and Legal,
Liquor License Advisor