Sacramento, CA – The Associated Press reporters California’s alcohol sales enforcers will be suiting up with $70,000 worth of bullet-resistant vests, helmets and gas masks to protect them. The agents perform undercover stings at bars, restaurants and retailers. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says the equipment is essential for the safety of its 142 sworn agents and will prepare them for any problems they might encounter on the job.
However, the AP says some law enforcement officials are criticizing the need for the equipment saying most of the agency’s arrests involve selling or giving alcoholic beverages to minors. They add the agents are rarely in the line of fire and if they are, they almost always call in local police. The Department defends the purchase saying their agents are law enforcement officers with all-encompassing authority and need to be protected like any other employee in law enforcement.