Hollister Police and city code enforcement officers cited 34 people on suspicion of illegal fireworks violations July 4. The police department also received hundreds of reports from citizens through a smartphone application designed to alert authorities of nearby fireworks activity.
The city’s illegal fireworks operation began at 5pm July 4 and concluded just after 11pm, according to Hollister police. The focus of this year’s Independence Day operation was to deploy police and code enforcement officers to enforce fireworks violations, in order to free up firefighters to respond to fires at full strength due to the dry conditions.
The city also encouraged residents to use the FOREalert smartphone application, which allows users to send GPS locations of illegal fireworks activity to authorities. Police received a total of 632 reports of fireworks through July 4 from this app, according to authorities.
The city’s 2017 illegal fireworks operations resulted in the issuance of 28 citations, police said. In 2016, police wrote one citation for fireworks violations.
Police also received 54 fireworks calls to the Hollister dispatch center on July 4—that’s up from 48 calls the same day in 2017, but down from 63 in 2016.
Hollister Fire Department reported six fires that were possibly fireworks-related July 4, according to the police. Firefighters also reported a fireworks-related fire July 3.
The public can report illegal fireworks to the Hollister Police Department’s non-emergency line at (831) 636-4331. Residents should call 911 for any emergencies.