Visalia officers crack down on tobacco violations

Grant from the California Department of Justice assists Visalia Police Department in cracking down on tobacco sales to minors

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published June 1, 2024  • 
9:00 am

VISALIA – With help from grant funding provided by the California Department of Justice, officers with the Visalia Police Department have been conducting compliance inspections at local businesses to ensure they are falling in line with the state’s tobacco laws.

On May 28, Visalia Police Department officers conducted tobacco compliance inspections at several businesses in Visalia. The purpose of the inspections was to ensure businesses were complying with California State Laws regarding the sale of tobacco and tobacco products. Four warnings were given for having improper signage and four warnings were given for having banned flavored tobacco products for sale.

Two days later on May 30, officers conducted a tobacco minor decoy operation to check if businesses in Visalia sold tobacco products to minors. Under the supervision of officers, the minor decoys were told to go into stores and try to buy tobacco products.

As a result, one business was cited for selling tobacco to a minor. One additional business was cited for having banned flavored tobacco products for sale.

The Visalia Police Department will be holding a series of tobacco decoy and compliance inspections throughout the year to ensure businesses are complying with state law. A retailer who is found guilty can be charged for a misdemeanor or subject to a fine up to $1,000.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Department of Justice.

May 30

Also on May 30 at 11:45 a.m., Visalia officers were dispatched to the Bethlehem Center for a report of a man being shot. Once on scene, officers discovered a man who had sustained gunshot wounds. The victim informed officers that the shooting occurred in the crosswalk near the Bethlehem Center.

The victim was transported to Kaweah Health for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to come forward and assist in the investigation. If you have any information, please contact the Visalia Police Department at 559-734-8116. 

You can also provide anonymous tips by calling the tip-line at 559-713-4738, referencing case number 24-043353.

Mid Valley Times Staff