The University Police Department (UPD) received a $37,799 grant from State of California’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), according to a press release issued by Cal Poly.
ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP) aims to reduce sales of alcohol to minors and obviously intoxicated buyers. It also stops illegal solicitations of alcohol and other criminal activities, such as the sale and possession of illegal drugs. This is the largest grant UPD has received; the 2015-16 grant was $29,806 and the 2016-17 grant $36,148.
According to the press release, the grant pays for extra officer shifts to perform these operations and to focus on problem locations and those who furnish alcohol to minors. Officers also will focus on citing underage drinkers and confiscating fake IDs at stores and events.
UPD has received the grant every year for the past three years, according to UPD Deputy Chief Brenda Trobaugh. This is considered rare for an agency the size of UPD.
UPD’s alcohol control approach
The department has been recognized for their efforts toward alcohol control on campus in recent years.
“The department actually won a distinguished service award for all of our work in alcohol prevention and alcohol-related education last year,” Trobaugh said.
UPD was one of two agencies in California to receive the award. Trobaugh said this is due in part to the department’s multi-pronged approach to alcohol control. This approach includes education about the dangers of over intoxication and liability issues, as well as responsibility with alcohol.
“It’s important that everybody understands that; from our students, to the members in the community, to the businesses who sell alcohol to minors or continue to sell alcohol to someone who is over intoxicated,” Trobaugh said.
University police provides training to employees that sell alcohol, such as Campus Dining employees.
“There’s trainings that you have to go through so that you know what to look for and what to do, how to check IDs, over intoxication, what the law says and what the penalties are if you don’t do A, B or C,” Trobaugh said.
The department also works with the Health Center, PULSE and other law enforcement agencies to intervene, train and educate.
“We work multijurisdiction, so we work with (San Luis Obispo Police Department), we work with (California Highway Patrol), Morro Bay (Police Department), Cuesta (Police Department) and we work together on addressing establishments that have a tendency to sell alcohol to minors or to oversell alcohol,” Trobaugh said.
In addition, UPD stated that they will address fake IDs as they come across them and establishments that fail to check them.
“There are certain establishments who may not check IDs or when they do, they kind of just glance at them and they don’t pay attention so they may take a lot of fake IDs,” Trobaugh said. “If they fail to check, then that’s an administrative investigation that goes toward that establishment, so that is looked at as well as the people who are buying the alcohol.”
The department’s primary goal is to reduce the amount of alcohol-related incidents where ambulances are dispatched to or other incidents occur.
“We want it to be so that the students are able to enjoy themselves, have a good time, but do it safely,” Trobaugh said.
According to Trobaugh, because UPD has received this grant every year for the past three years, many of these strategies are already in use, so Cal Poly will not see anything drastically different this year from last year. However, the department will continue to introduce new safety precautions in the future.
“We have an office that goes out and speaks with a lot of the fraternities about responsibility and liability issues when you have a party and how to have a safe one,” Trobaugh said.