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Huntington Beach

May 26, 1999| City News Service

A $70,046 grant from the state will allow two police officers to "bar hop" and focus on reducing alcohol-related crime, a police spokesman said. "We have a fairly active bar culture and I'm quite certain there will be plenty of justification for it," Officer Mike Kelly said. The city is one of 20 in the state that will share $1.6 million in grants to deal with problems related to liquor license-holders, said Michael Bustamante, a spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis.

Kelly said he expects that the two officers, who will work in uniform on a "bar detail," will go around looking for violations such as bartenders serving obviously intoxicated patrons or underage drinkers. "We haven't had anyone focusing on a detail like it before," he said. "I have a feeling there's going to be plenty of work for them." Kelly said there are more than two dozen liquor licenses in a "square mile or a half square mile" section of downtown.

The grants also cover free training for license-holders and their employees on ABC rules and regulations, such as teaching proprietors how to spot false identification, prevent sales to minors and tell when a patron is drunk, Bustamante said.

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