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By Mike Hazlip—
A new police vehicle with a graphic wrap designed for community outreach to reduce youth tobacco use will soon be seen at local schools — that is, whenever schools return to session amid COVID-19 closures.
The Ford F-150 was purchased with funds awarded by the California Department of Public Health’s “Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement” (STAKE) program. The $606,000 grant was awarded to the Citrus Heights Police Department in March and was required to be used to curb tobacco use among minors.
Citrus Heights Police Lt. Kris Frey said the truck will be part of an overall program that involves other community outreach avenues.
“Funding from the grant is used to pay for dedicated staff to conduct department trainings, public education, presentations to students, social and print media campaigns, alerting and monitoring devices, and other proactive operations, in addition to general operating expenses,” Frey said.
“The STAKE truck is used to help foster the Citrus Heights Police Department’s continued efforts of educating the public, promoting a safe environment for the community, and reducing the illegal sales and tobacco use by individuals under 21 years of age in Citrus Heights,” he also said in an email.
During a council meeting in April, then-mayor Jeff Slowey and several other council members said they’d like to see the vehicle wrap be installed by one of several local businesses offering the service. Frey said Wednesday that the police department contacted several local and regional businesses for the project, but ultimately settled on Pro Wraps of Sacramento for the vehicle graphics.
The wrap was completed last month. Additional equipment is also to be installed on the truck in the near future, Frey said.
The Citrus Heights City Council unanimously approved to accept the grant in April. The outreach programs are funded by the California Healthcare Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 (Prop 56). Other law enforcement agencies throughout the state also received grants.
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