POMONA – On Wednesday, November 14th a five-hour Tobacco Minor Decoy (Shoulder Tap) Operation was conducted throughout the city.
Members of the Pomona Police Department participated in this Dept. of Justice Tobacco Grant Project, funded by the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tax Act (Proposition 56).
A concerted effort is under way to reduce the availability of tobacco to minors via Shoulder Tap planned operations. Ongoing enforcement operations target locations where minors are likely to be present.
First, two minors, ages 18 and 17, were under the direct supervision of Patrol Division & Investigative Services Division Officers. The minors were sent to various tobacco licensed stores throughout Pomona.
Next, the minors waited outside the front door of each location and mentioned that they were under the age of 21. They asked patrons to purchase tobacco products for them.
Thirteen adults were contacted. The decoys found two patrons who offered to buy cigarettes for them. Once the tobacco was handed to the minors, the adults were detained.
The crime is 308 (a)(1)(A)(i)PC, Furnish Tobacco To Minor. The patrons were positively identified, issued citations for furnishing tobacco to minors, then released pending their court date.
This project is part of the California DOJ Tobacco Grant Project, funded by California’s Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tax Act (Proposition 56).The grant funds operations, retailer training programs, the installation of signage, youth outreach, tobacco retail license inspections, training for sworn personnel, and other activities.
“Tobacco remains a very serious public health concern,” said Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “These grants will provide additional tools to law enforcement to help educate kids about the dangers of smoking. The grants help local communities enforce laws against selling tobacco products to minors. These grants are an important step toward reducing illegal sales and building a healthier California.”
The Pomona Police Department would also like to remind you – the minimum legal age to possess tobacco products is 21.