FRESNO – Members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Task Force (SITF) have been conducting alcohol enforcement operations throughout Fresno County as part of “Operation Saved by the Bell.”
The goal is to help ensure students and young adults enjoy their summer responsibly thus the effort is timed with the beginning of summer break.
Detectives are assisted by underage ecoys while conducting the Minor Decoy and Shoulder Tap Operations. A Minor Decoy Operation is conducted to verify that retail establishments are doing their part to prevent alcohol from being sold to minors. A Shoulder Tap Operation involves the decoy soliciting citizens to purchase alcohol for them outside of retail liquor store establishments.
Since May 31, SITF detectives have visited more than 60 locations in areas such as Biola, Fowler, Kerman, Kingsburg, Laton, Malaga, Reedley, San Joaquin and Tranquility. Detectives have also been working with the Fresno Police Department to address problem locations within the City of Fresno. Those who sell or purchase alcohol for the decoys are issued a misdemeanor citation and could face fines and/or community service.
Funding for these operations comes from a grant awarded by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, ABC. In addition to Fresno, the cities of Parlier, Selma and Sanger have also received grants from ABC to conduct similar types of operations. SITF detectives plan to make “Operation Saved by the Bell” an annual event at the beginning of each summer throughout the County.