SANTA MONICA—On June 12, the Santa Monica Police Department conducted an undercover operation within the city targeting licensed retail establishments who sell alcohol to minors. The program, officially titled the Undercover Minor Decoy Operation, utilizes supervised individuals under the age of 20 who attempt to purchase alcohol at a licensed establishment.

The enforcement team visited 8 local retailers and cited 2 with citations. Canyon News spoke with Sergeant Rudy Camarena of the SMPD who said both the L & K Market at 2127 Main Street and Marine Market, located on 672 Marine Street were issued citations for violation of the Business and Professions Code prohibiting the sales/furnishing of alcohol to a minor. No arrests were made.

The CDC has stated that alcohol use by persons under the age of 21 is a major public health problem. It is the most commonly used and abused drug by youth in the United States from 2006 and 2010, and was responsible for more than 4300 deaths among underage youth.

The SMPD says the Minor Decoy program has been an effective tool in promoting responsible sales practices by licensees while also reducing substance abuse and promoting community welfare.

The program, which is funded by the California Office of Traffic safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is expected to be ongoing.