The U. S. Customs Service has awarded the Hermosa Beach Police Department $232,700 for its part in the seizure of nearly $1 million in drug money last year.
Steve Wisniewski, director of the Hermosa Beach Department of Public Safety, said most of the money will be saved for future expenses. "We are planning on depositing the great majority of it to use as a nest egg," he said. "We'll use the interest for small purchases."
The award is significant in financially strapped Hermosa Beach, equivalent to 10% of this year's police budget.
The Police Department received the funds for its part in the seizure of $930,700 at a Hermosa Beach home on Sept. 8, 1986.
Customs officials pointed police to the house after seizing $1.1 million hidden in a cargo container at the Port of Los Angeles. Shipping documents led them to the Hermosa Beach home, where local detectives found the money stuffed in several motor oil cans.
Hermosa Beach was one of 11 Southern California police departments that received a total of $3.3 million for assisting customs agents in drug and money-laundering cases.