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September 23, 2023

Fireworks keep first responders busy

More than 50 cited during Fourth of July

Gilroy Police arrested a man and issued more than 50 citations for illegal fireworks during an enforcement campaign on the Fourth of July.

Twelve additional officers were deployed on the Fourth of July dedicated to spotting fireworks scofflaws, according to a press release from the City of Gilroy, while the Gilroy Fire Department had nine additional firefighters for emergency response. Most of the additional officers patrolled in patrol cars, bicycles and with the use of drones. Two of the nine firefighters supported Gilroy Police during drone enforcement of fireworks violations. 

The additional officers and firefighters were funded by mitigation fees added to Gilroy’s Safe and Sane fireworks sales.

During the night of the Fourth, a man was arrested for possession of fireworks, public intoxication, and resisting arrest after officers witnessed him ignite aerial fireworks in a residential neighborhood. 

Another case was referred to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution of an adult in possession of dangerous fireworks.

Gilroy Police responded to 306 calls for service, with 170 of those calls being fireworks-related, according to the press release.

In 2021, police received 175 calls for service on the holiday, compared to 100 in 2020.

In total, 56 administrative citations were issued for fireworks violations. An additional seven administrative citations were issued in the five days prior to July 4.

Firefighters responded to 38 calls for service, with eight of those calls being for fires (two wildfires and six non-structure fires). No injuries were reported.

A total of 48 reports of illegal fireworks were reported via email. City officials said the [email protected] email reporting option assisted officers in locating violators by identifying problem areas. This option also alleviated some calls that dispatchers would have typically handled.

The public is asked to call the non-emergency line at 408.846.0350 or email [email protected] to report ongoing fireworks violations through July 15. In emergencies, use 9-1-1.

With fire season well underway, residents are encouraged to sign up for notices regarding “Local High Fire Risk” days by texting 95020 to the Nixle alert system at 888777.

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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