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Dozens of Santa Maria residents fined $1,000 in crackdown on fireworks

Posted at 12:07 AM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 03:07:21-04

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Santa Maria police handed out 17 citations to residents using fireworks outside the designated hours.

One man was cited twice and was arrested for resisting a police officer.

The extra patrols is an effort by police after hearing complaints from residents wanting police to crackdown on celebrations before and after the Fourth of July.

The goal of this year’s work, officials say, is to have an impact for years down the road, making people rethink lighting fireworks illegally.

“That’s our hope that we are responding to the community request to address these illegal fire work issues,” Lt. Mark Streker said. “And we have done that. This is our fourth night. We have teams of officers out there. One officer on each team is an unmarked vehicle and in plain clothes. So he is doing the spotting. He is looking for the fireworks going up and responding to dispatch calls. These teams are fanned our in search of illegal fireworks.”

It is easier to report complaints to the department this year. Police have received positive feedback. Though it has required significant man power and hours from the department’s budget.

Streker expected to receive over 100 more complaints by the end of the night.

Police will continue to prioritize other calls for service that are called in, ensure safety for residents in need of help.

Safe and Sane fireworks are only allowed to be used in the city limits from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday.