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Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
The City of Los Angeles currently has 6,041 licensed Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) retail establishments, which represent nine percent of the total licensed establishments in the State of California. There have been a number of comprehensive studies conducted that have drawn a direct correlation between the proximity of problematic ABC locations and Part I and II crimes. Additionally, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recognized that the problems associated with problematic and disruptive licensed locations required additional resources and expertise not available at the level of the uniformed patrol officer. Due to the complexity of ABC law, many times officers assigned to non-uniformed vice assignments do not have a full understanding of the rules and regulations governing ABC licensed locations. To fill the void in ABC expertise and maintain an entity responsible for coordinating ABC enforcement and education on a Citywide level, the LAPD developed "Operation ABC". "Operation ABC" was formed in 1995 through a grant fund from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control under the Grant Assistance Program (GAP).
"Operation ABC" identified the need for an LAPD standardized educational and training program for alcohol retailers from a law enforcement perspective. The Standardized Training for Alcohol Retailers (STAR) program was designed as an informal supplemental training program to ABC’s recognized LEAD training program. The STAR training program was also designed to provide consistent standardized ABC enforcement training to Alcohol Retailers (on-and off-sale) throughout the City of Los Angeles.
Safe and Sober Operation
To curtail the accessibility of alcoholic beverages and promote "safe and sober" high school graduations throughout the LA Unified School District (LAUSD), "Operation ABC" personnel developed the Safe & Sober Operation. After extensive media coverage, Area Vice units conduct consecutive shoulder tap operations covering the hours of noon until midnight. Shoulder tap operations, similar to minor decoy operations, involve the soliciting of individuals outside of licensed ABC retail establishments to purchase an alcoholic beverage for a minor. The 1999 Safe & Sober operation was conducted outside of 14 off-sale ABC locations in the OWB Area. The minors (a total of eight, eighteen and nineteen year-olds from the local communities who had volunteered to assist) approached a total of 147 adults and requested, "that they purchase an alcoholic beverage for him/her because clerk had refused to sell to them because they were under-aged." A total of 30, of the 147 individuals submitted to the decoys’ request and supplied them with alcoholic beverages. This represents an 80% compliance rate.
The above operation was covered by a number of local news media representatives including KTLA, KTTV (Fox), KMEX (Univision), and KVEA (Telemundo) television; KFI, KROQ, and KOST radio stations; and The Los Angeles Times and The Korea Times newspapers. During the news coverage of the OWB operation extensive references were made regarding subsequent shoulder tap operations that were conducted on dates coinciding with LAUSD high school graduations.
In conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) Operation ABC personnel have created the "Safe & Sober" presentation (in FLASH). This presentation is designed to educate under-aged individuals as to the dangers associated with alcohol consumption and related ramifications.
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