Hollister Police cited several people for illegal fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, adding that use of the incendiary devices has been “out of control.”
Hollister PD said in a press release July 8 that officers worked with the Hollister Fire Department, Code Enforcement and Animal Control to issue 32 citations and confiscate several loads of illegal fireworks.
There were three citations issued on the 200 block of Lassen Court along with a pair of citations handed out on the 2100 block of Highland Drive and on Gia Court.
Hollister PD said there were approximately 107 calls regarding illegal and aerial fireworks. They sent officers in unmarked cars on Friday and Saturday nights in an attempt to locate and capture offenders.
“The amount of fireworks used this year appeared to be the worst it has ever been. Our veterans suffering from PTSD and our frightened pets had to endure a holiday weekend full of unnecessary and consistent bombardment of explosions and screeching whistles,” according to the press release.
Hollister PD also went on to say “these fireworks create hazards such as loud noises and fires that not only affect residents, but pets as well. Due to the fear of all the loud noise, several pets escaped their homes or yards and were taken to the shelter.”
In June, Hollister Code Enforcement and Hollister Animal Care and Services patrolled the city looking for anyone using or in possession of any illegal fireworks.
Hollister PD said in the press release that they’ll be stepping up the use of technology to help track down and capture offenders.
The department put out a reminder that fines begin at $1,000 and can increase up to $2,000 or more for repeated offenses. Violators could also face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, which can include fines and jail time.
The fire department responded to nine fires from fireworks related incidents. Four of those incidents occured over the weekend but without fire service coverage available despite having extra staffing for the holiday weekend.
“That means if there had been another fire reported during that time, there wouldn’t have been a firefighter available to respond in a timely manner,” Hollister PD stated.