LANCASTER – Lancaster and law enforcement officials say a new state grant will give them a greater ability to go after underage drinking and other alcohol-related crime. The Lancaster sheriff’s station is using a $99,927 grant through the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Grant Assistance Program, or GAP, to enhance alcohol enforcement. The grant will fund additional enforcement operations through December. “Because of budgets, we haven’t been able to do what we would like to do,” said Lt. Wallace Fullerton of the Lancaster sheriff’s station. “This allows us to expand our operations beyond what we could do.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleUnder Lancaster’s grant, deputies are combating underage drinking by conducting stings that target liquor stores that sell alcohol to minors and adults who consent to buy alcohol for minors. They also are conducting training for businesses that sell alcohol. Deputies also are conducting undercover operations targeting bars and other places that have been the subject of citizen complaints about disorderly activity. “We need to protect our youth from its (alcohol’s) grasp and protect our streets from drunk drivers,” said Councilman Ron Smith. GAP was created in 1995 to strengthen partnerships between ABC and local law enforcement agencies in order to put violating operators out of business, keep alcohol away from minors and bring penalties such as fines, suspensions or revocations against businesses that violate the law. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doubled the funding amount to $3 million from the prior year. In the first operation with the grant funds, clerks at eight Lancaster liquor stores and businesses were cited for selling alcohol to minors as part of a two-day sting conducted by sheriff’s deputies and ABC investigators on July 13 and 14. In a Sept. 14 sting, six store clerks were cited out of 38 businesses visited by 18- and 19-year-old sheriff’s volunteers trying to buy alcohol. Sheriff’s officials said the 32 stores that refused to sell to them will get congratulatory letters. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!