Santa Paula Times

Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), and officials from the City of Santa Paula attended a press conference at City Hall to discuss program implementation of a $43,931 ABC grant. Above left Joseph Cruz (ABC) hands Commander Mark Hanson and Cheif Bob Gonzales a ceremonial check for $43, 931. Photo by Don Johnson

Alcohol Beverage Control online for enforcement of liquor laws, education

September 13, 2002
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesEducation of both purveyors and the public as well as heightened enforcement of liquor laws is a top priority of the SPPD and the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), and officials from both agencies met this week at City Hall to discuss program implementation of a $43,931 ABC grant.“The program will be a real asset to the community,” said SPPD Chief Bob Gonzales.The grant provides funding for 200 hours of police and supervisor overtime, as well as funding for a part-time program director.According to Chief Gonzales, the grant also provides for random decoy and “Shoulder Tap” operations - a program aimed at those adults who buy alcohol for minors - at local liquor outlets, as well as provide education and training to schools, liquor license holders and the public.There are over 60 licensed locations in Santa Paula that sell alcoholic beverages, 14 retail liquor outlets per square mile, compared with the 8.4 per square mile average overall in Ventura County.In cooperation with the ABC, the SPPD will conduct a series of operations targeting drug sales and prostitution that occurs in several area bars.
Chief Gonzales noted that alcohol plays a major factor in violent crime, including homicide. “Alcohol use was a factor in about 70 percent of Santa Paula homicides, whether by the suspect, victim or both,” he said.SPPD Commander Mark Hanson said the department and ABC had already planned their first joint operation, “starting today. . .we want to educate retailers with impact inspections,” of businesses to ensure they are complying with laws governing dispensing and advertising liquor. “It’s a courtesy check,” that can result in warnings for non-compliance and then citations if the situation is not corrected.ABC Deputy Division Chief Joseph Cruz said retailers face stiff fines as well as losing their lucrative liquor licenses if they don’t abide by the law. And partnerships funded by the ABC grant, “can make significant changes in the community,” with lower rates of alcohol related crime, especially DUIs.In addition, the ABC is “striving to be better community partners. . .”The SPPD grant application emphasized youth programs that Cruz said helped secure the funding. “The education component put Santa Paula over the top,” he noted.