Hollister Police responded to a staggering 757 calls for public safety service over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to authorities.
The calls include reports of domestic violence, loud parties, illegal fireworks and traffic incidents. The total of 757 calls over the three-day weekend included calls to 911 as well as to non-emergency lines, plus stops initiated by Hollister Police officers, says a press release from Hollister Police Department.
Officers took 55 police reports, issued 63 traffic citations and arrested 13 people over the Independence Day weekend, police said.
The weekend was so busy for public safety officers that the Hollister Police Department indefinitely postponed a DUI and driver license checkpoint that was scheduled for July 4. The holiday call volume was about three times that of recent normal weekends, including the first weekend of June (269 calls) and the first weekend of May (212 calls), according to police.
Santa Cruz Regional 911 also received 159 reports of illegal fireworks in the area over the weekend.
Hollister Police contacted 40 individuals and issued 26 administrative citations for illegal fireworks, says the press release. Several of those citations were assisted by the police department’s drone, which logged 22 flights over the weekend.
Some of the citations will be mailed to the property owners who either refused to come to the door or where the perpetrator was not cooperative or identified but was within the property boundaries of the home, police said.
Some Hollister Police officers were patrolling the city for illegal fireworks in unmarked cars. However, social media users began posting descriptions of the police vehicles online “in attempts to thwart our efforts,” says the press release.
There were even reports of some residents acting as “lookouts” on street corners to shout out warnings when police were seen in a neighborhood, and others were shooting fireworks in their backyards where they could not be seen by an officer passing by on the street, police said.
Many who called police to report illegal fireworks in Hollister throughout the weekend were unable pinpoint exactly where the devices came from, police said.
“The Hollister Police Department sympathizes with our veterans who suffer with PTSD or who are otherwise affected by the constant bombardment,” says the press release from Hollister Police Department. “We also understand how terribly some of our pets are affected by the illegal fireworks. We thank our service men and women for their service to our nation and we are committed to building on our efforts for next year.”
The Hollister Police Department will also offer rewards of up to $1,000 for tips that lead to arrests for those involved with the sales of illegal fireworks. Anyone wishing to provide an illegal firework sales tip for a reward can call WeTip at 800-78-CRIME.