The Palo Alto Police Department has received a $41,000 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct targeted enforcement of alcohol-related crimes over the coming year, the department announced in a press release Thursday.
The funds will also support education efforts for the community. Police personnel will coordinate three separate four-hour training sessions, led by agents from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, for local businesses with ABC licenses. The classes' objective is to help employees learn how to better prevent sales of alcohol to minors.
The police department will also give presentations at each of Palo Alto's middle three schools and two high schools on the problems associated with alcohol and drug use by minors.
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control "embarked on a new and innovative approach to broaden and increase the level of alcoholic beverage law enforcement" in 1995 with the launch of the Grant Assistance to Local Law Enforcement Program, the program's webpage reads.
"Prior to this program, most contacts between ABC, local public agencies, and community groups generally occurred on a case-by-case basis for individual retail outlets," the website reads. "There was no systematic, pro-active strategy to address alcohol-related problems at the point of sale on a community-wide scale.
"Problem retail outlets, even though they are a small percentage of the total licensees, become magnets for crime and the 'broken windows' in our communities that unless fixed quickly, become the norm and deteriorate the quality of life in our neighborhoods."
Anyone convicted for the sale of alcohol to minors can expect a mandatory $1,000 fine, the police department reminded in its press release. Any licensed business that violates laws will face sanctions from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, including fines and/or suspensions or revocations of their liquor license.
The police department will provide a series of public updates on the enforcement efforts over the lifespan of the grant, according to the press release.