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It has been about three years since the West Jordan Police Department began using underage, undercover decoys to catch and fine store clerks that sold beer to minors.

The program has effectively reduced the sale of beer to juveniles in West Jordan, said Public Safety Director Kal O. Farr, but it has made for a number of bad contacts between the city and the 30 businesses licensed to sell beer in the city.To help make up for the bad contacts, the city awarded certificates at the Tuesday evening City Council meeting to the 16 businesses, 10 of them gas station convenience stores, that had no violations during 1987.

In refusing to sell beer to patrons who don't have proper identification, store clerks take some real guff, Farr said. The absence of violations is a direct reflection on the management of those stores, he said.

The awards were well received, with representatives of all of the stores present at the council meeting to claim their framed certificate.

"Usually all we hear is the negative," said 7-Eleven supervisor Phil Ludwig. "It's rare when somebody pats us on the back."

Ed Sharp, assistant to the general manager for Rainbo Oil Co., said his company will start using its own undercover juveniles to check up on clerks at all of the company's convenience stores. Sharp urged the city to consider increasing the penalties to store employees and underage patrons and decrease the penalties against the business.

Farr's farewell comment to the recipients of the awards: "Good luck next year."