SMPD Gets Grant For Alcohol-Related Crimes
Posted by Melissa Simon on Sep 17, 2013 - 5:00:58 PM
SANTA MONICA—Chief Seabrooks of the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) announced that they had received a grant of $40,000 to fight alcohol-related crimes on September 13. The grant came from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
Investigator Tina Greer, with the SMPD, told Canyon News the ABC is a statewide agency that deals with business licenses and has two divisions: a metro division and an enforcement division.
“The metro division gives out permissions and does more of the day-to-day part of the business licenses and then you have the enforcement division side,” Greer said. “Anytime there’s a violation, they come and enforce the violation along with whatever PD is in the area," she added.
Greer said the SMPD has received the grant in the past several times. She said she thought one of the grants from six to 10 years ago may have been $100,000, but was unsure of the exact amount.
The funds, according to Greer, are used for various different objectives given to the SMPD by the ABC, with education coming before enforcement.
California Alcohol and Beverage Control
“Some of it’s education and some of it’s enforcement,” she said. “With enforcement they we to complete all of the education first, with education being roll call training for all our officers, press releases and what we call impact training," she added.
Impact trainings are when SMPD officers join with ABC agents and they go into an establishment to ensure licenses are up to par and no conditions are being violated, according to Greer. In addition to visiting establishments, Greer said they hold leads training, which is where they try to invite at least one person per establishment to participate in a 4-hour ABC training. During the training, they go over doing minor decoys, how to properly check licenses and what a fake ID looks like.
“This [grant] is huge because for the city of Santa Monica, we have two vice officers and this allows us to actually go out and do some meet and greets with a lot of the owners that we don’t normally get a chance to do,” she said. “So what they’re aware of is that any time in that calendar year, we can come in anytime and do enforcement or education.”
The grants combine the efforts of local law enforcement officials with those of ABC agents, who are trained in alcoholic beverage laws, according to the release.
“The program improves the quality of life in neighborhoods,” said Jacob Appelsmith, ABC director. “We’ve seen a real difference in the communities where the grant program resources have been invested," he added.
The program Appelsmith referred to is the GAP program, or Grant Assistance Program, was developed in 1995 and described by Greer as one ABC agent working with the six local agencies that receive the grant.
“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,” according to the release.
Since its creation, the GAP program has distributed more than $20 million to local law enforcement agencies to help combat alcohol-related crime, as stated in the release.