The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) has had a busy month, responding to as many as 41 reports of illegal fireworks displays over the past 31 days.
Last week, a SMPD spokesperson reported he was not aware of any fireworks complaints so far this season, but further investigation revealed the department’s night shift had collected dozens of fireworks complaints as well as reports of shots fired that turned out to be fireworks-related.
“Many of the calls came in as potential ‘shots fired’ but were cleared as fireworks,” SMPD Public Information Officer Rudy Flores wrote in an email to the Daily Press on Monday, June 27. “Some of these may also be related / duplicate calls.”
Flores went on to say that when it came to the location where illegal fireworks were deployed, there was no obvious trend that emerged; however, if you live in the western portion of the city you are probably more likely to see or hear an unlicensed display.
“The calls are fairly distributed throughout our city, however I am noticing more of a concentration in the most western portion of our city,” Flores wrote.
So far, none of the 41 calls has resulted in an arrest or citation, Flores went on to say.
“For an officer to issue a citation they would have to observe the violation or accept a private person’s arrest,” Flores explained. Possession of fireworks in Santa Monica is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.
Local agencies continued their messaging warning of the danger of amateur fireworks displays this week. According to the LA County Fire Department, 19 people were injured from the use of fireworks in LA County last year; about two-thirds of them received burns and injuries from illegal fireworks.
“Additionally, Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) crews responded to 66 fires reportedly caused by fireworks in 2021, resulting in a loss of $265,000 to affected residents,” LACoFD wrote in a press release.
This year there are no fireworks shows scheduled for Santa Monica, but nearby shows are set to take place in Marina Del Rey and Pacific Palisades.