Officers from the Fontana Police Department, along with inspectors from City of Fontana Code Compliance, City of Fontana Planning Division, City of Fontana Building and Safety, and the Fontana Fire District, have just completed a special operation called Mini Task Force IMPACT Inspections to check licensed premises that sell alcohol.
On January 30, 2020, authorities visited five licensed establishments in the City of Fontana to conduct IMPACT inspections. IMPACT stands for Informed Merchants Preventing Alcohol-Related Crime Tendencies. It is a cooperative program between ABC, local law enforcement agencies, and licensees. During the inspections, minor violations were noted at each location, along with a number of significant Fire and Code violations at one location.
To show the community the various City of Fontana departments work collaboratively, a Mini Task Force was created to include Code Compliance, City Planning, City Building and Safety, and the Fontana Fire District. Officers and inspectors from each division join the Police Department to conduct their respective inspections. The objective for the Mini Task Force is ensure our ABC licensed establishments are maintaining compliance with all local regulations and state laws. Maintaining compliance helps to reduce alcohol-related problems and increases safety for the community.
The IMPACT program teamed an ABC plainclothes agent with a uniformed police officer who visited licensed establishments in a given area. The primary objective of the project is to educate licensees about the various ways they can participate in reducing alcohol-related crimes such as sales to underage and obviously intoxicated persons.
This project combines municipal and state law enforcement personnel in a highly visible profile to educate licensees. IMPACT teams remind licensees of the responsibilities and accountability associated with the sale of alcoholic beverages. This is accomplished by identifying areas of non-compliance and providing crime prevention information.
The focus is to educate rather than to enforce. Even though the teams are prevention oriented, members may take action against any major violations observed during the inspection/visits. Merchants have accepted the program and its philosophy because they are being offered an opportunity to identify weaknesses in their alcoholic beverage sales system and to correct deficiencies without penalties.
Local communities endorse the program as it improves the relationship between law enforcement and merchants. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program. ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.