Berkeley Police Department was awarded a grant of $191,053 by the California Department of Justice for the next three years in order to further impose underage tobacco laws through education and law enforcement efforts.
The funding will go toward educating Berkeley youth and local businesses on the potential dangers and “negative” health effects of tobacco use, according to a BPD Nixle alert released Monday. The grant will also allow BPD officers to reduce underage purchases of tobacco by giving them the means to achieve objectives geared toward retailers.
BPD will use the funds to establish general enforcement operations at businesses selling tobacco, to identify potentially “problematic” retailers who violate current ordinances, to facilitate “decoy operations” and to inspect establishments that are licensed to sell tobacco, the alert notes.
The California Department of Justice Tobacco Grant Program was established in 2017 to provide funds to local law enforcement agencies, according to the Department of Justice website. Thus far, the program has allocated roughly $151 million to more than 300 grantees; recipients are decided through a competitive process.
“This grant cycle the Tobacco Grant Program will make available a total of $22 million in grant funding to promote a healthier California by reducing illegal sales and marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors,” the website reads.
The grant will be active in the city of Berkeley from 2022 through 2025.