Huntington police receive $50,000 grant from Alcoholic Beverage Control

The Huntington Beach Police Department has received a $50,000 state grant to combat alcohol-related crime over the next year.

The grant, which will fund undercover enforcement as well as educational programs for restaurant and bar owners, is the first the department has received since 2008.

Huntington previously won grants in 1999 and 2000, Lt. Russell Reinhart said.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control received 130 applications and awarded grants to 46 police agencies, according to spokesman John Carr.

While Huntington has been the subject of recent news coverage regarding its alcohol-related crime problems, Carr said the media attention didn't factor into the state's decision.

"It comes down to the application," he said. "There's issues in the media up and down the state in regards to alcohol, and in Huntington Beach, it just happened that the Police Department put together a good application."

The City Council is expected to vote on approving the grant funds at its Aug. 1 meeting, Reinhart said. City spokeswoman Laurie Frymire said the agenda had not been finalized.

The grant, if approved, will last through June 30.

Reinhart said the enforcement will target problem areas around the city, predominantly downtown, which has 38 licenses to serve alcohol within an area of a few blocks.

In addition to running decoy operations to ensure that businesses are checking customers' ages, the department will train employees on when to stop serving customers and how to deal with intoxicated ones.

The department applied for the grant each of the last two years but did not receive it, Reinhart said.

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