Serving the community since 1970

Illegal fireworks still an issue locally

If you wander outside in the evening at this time of year, you are more than likely to see a light show in the sky, thanks to the continuing issue of illegal fireworks in the area.

The Shafter Police Department was proactive last year, and got the City Council to approve a new ordinance which allows the police department to issue citations of $1,000 to those who let off illegal fireworks.

The new ordinance resulted in over 21 citations being handed out, many of them for $1,000. Before the ordinance, someone who was caught with illegal fireworks might receive a small fine.

Shafter Police Chief Kevin Zimmermann said that their efforts last year have paid dividends this year as well.

"During May and June of 2020, we received approximately 275 fireworks related service calls. In May and June of this year, we have received 127 fireworks related service calls," he said.

Zimmermann said one issue that gets overlooked is the challenges that are faced by the percentage of military veterans living in the community.

"For this cross section of our community, illegal fireworks can represent an immeasurable challenge to their day-to-day lives," Zimmermann said. "Only a veteran or a close family member of a veteran can truly understand these types of challenges."

Zimmermann said that he would ask the community to try to understand this important fact before deciding to use illegal fireworks.

He also said that the use of illegal fireworks is hazardous to our pets.

"Our pets have no way of understanding what these loud noises represent so they often react by running away," he said. "It makes for a busy month for pet owners and our Animal Control Unit."


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