Performance trends

Why is this measure important?

The measure is important because it’s mandated under State law.  Each licensed facility in the County must be inspected twice annually and new businesses holding Beer, Wine and Liquor licenses are also mandated to be inspected monthly for the first year of business in addition to submitting monthly ratio reports to ensure the business is meeting mandated ratios and reporting of at least 40% food and 60% alcohol. 

Factors contributing to current performance

  • Each Inspector is assigned to a specific DLC District as opposed to Police Districts
  • Facilities assigned to each Inspector are more evenly balanced through DLC Districts so one inspector isn’t required to complete more inspections than another
  • Inspectors work in teams to provide coverage for one another when an Inspector is on leave to ensure there’s not a lapse in inspections
  • Logistics – Inspector cubicles are located directly across from the supervisor’s office as opposed to another floor or building which fosters a more detailed organization and better flow and implementation/updates of our inspection program.
  • Each inspector is assigned a County take home vehicle equipped with GPS which improves efficiency and time management by allowing the Inspectors to go directly to their assigned Districts rather than report to the office first.  Also each vehicle is equipped with a police two way radio and each Inspector is assigned a call sign to allow ECC to contact the Inspector should the police require assistance at a licensed facility or the Inspector has an emergency such as involvement in a vehicle accident.  Also ECC has each Inspectors cell phone numbers.
  • Each Inspector has an assigned County cell phone that allows office staff and the Supervisor direct contact without delay. 
  • Each Inspector has an assigned County desk top computer and can receive emails which greatly improves communication not only for DLC/LRE but for County wide broadcasts for ALERTS and other communications
  • Each Inspector has an assigned County I-Pad which enables the Inspectors to complete mandated and other inspections electronically as opposed to hard copy
  • Each Inspector is required to report in service by text to their Supervisor at the beginning of the work day and provide their itinerary for the day, i.e. Inspections, Court, training, Meetings, etc.;  and call out of service at the end of the workday.  This procedure allows the Supervisor to provide better oversight of Inspectors and improves daily communication concerning inspections among other things.
  • Each Inspector reports to the office a minimum of twice per week to check in with their supervisor for inspection updates, staff meetings, incoming postal service mail such as court subpoenas, etc.
  • DLC/IT in conjunction with County GIS Mapping to send monthly updates for newly  licensed facilities in the County.   For new license applications, the Board receives an inspection report that includes a map of the area listing all facilities in close proximity of the new license application.
  • There are seven different inspections and an inspection report to document each inspection.  DLC/IT developed an electronic inspection program using I-Form builder that allows inspectors the ability to conduct inspections from the field utilizing an I-Pad and once completed the inspection report is saved electronically.  From this electronic data base, monthly report is generated that includes total inspections for the month and year to date.  This report is presented to the Liquor Board by the supervisor during the first hearing of each month.  Because businesses close, open, change locations, mandated inspections are completed, etc., the tracking of inspections is a moving target and changes bi-weekly after the Liquor Board meets and grants new and transfer licenses.  Prior to three years ago, inspections were tracked manually by the supervisor.  This new I-Form builder system paired with oracle makes tracking accurate and easily manageable compared to tracking manually.  It also provides inspector accountability as do other contributing factors previously mentioned and all act in unison as a check and balance inspection tracking method to ensure mandated inspection benchmarks are met. 

Factors restricting performance improvement

  • Although much of what DLC/LRE does is public safety, we are considered non-essential employees.  As such, inclement weather mainly during winter months prohibits field inspections because of hazardous road conditions.
  • Annual leave, Sick leave, County Holidays
  • Six inspectors complete the 7 different types of inspections and one of the six is only in the field one day per week because much of the inspector’s work load is administrative in the LRE office.  ABC license renewals are underway through today and there are currently 1,060 licensed facilities in the County.
  • Mandatory County wide training requirements for all employees such as Harassment in the Workplace among many others
  • The inspectors are cross trained and assist with other duties including but not limited to ALERT class for licensees and staff, Front desk coverage, License Renewal season from Feb 1 through March 31 each year, other administrative assignments, etc
  • Inspectors attend Liquor Board hearings for new and transfer applications, Violation show cause hearings, District Court trials, Circuit Court trials
  • Mandatory meetings – staff, inspector, Safety Alliance, MCP roll calls and in service trainings, MALA, MD Quit conferences, Keeping It Safe Coalition, Legislation, Urban Partnership, Community meetings, ART, Community Outreach events, etc.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco sale to minor compliance checks, labor intensive and time consuming, team effort between the under 21, police, and inspectors.  Requires scheduling coordination.  Alcohol 400 compliance checks annually, Tobacco 300 compliance checks annually.
  • Partnering with MCP, HHS, EPA, DPS, etc to address a specific community issue such as noise and sound from a particular facility
  • Inspector retirements or extended FMLA/SLB leave
  • Other duties as assigned by the supervisor or Division Chief

Performance improvement plan

  •  DLC IT consistently provides improvement/updates to the data base management system and works out any glitches in a timely manner
  • Technology improvements will be implemented to update and replace the current data base management system
  •  As technology improves and trends change, periodic staff/Inspector training is paramount
  • Provide education and training through ALERT for licensees and their staff relative to DLC/LRE and the Liquor Boards Rules and Regulations which have a direct correlation to the types of inspections completed
  • Weekly if not Daily communication among Inspectors, Administrative Staff and other DLC Divisions