This past weekend, the Riverside Police and Fire Departments teamed up to enforce City and State fireworks-related laws. Between July 1st and July 4th, teams of Police and Fire investigators conducted enforcement patrols throughout the City each night. Anywhere from two to five teams were out each night handling firework-related calls for service in addition to on-sighting illegal firework activities. The teams consisted of Fire Arson Investigators and Police Technical Services Unit officers and detectives (EOD-trained personnel).
The task force investigated approximately 160 firework incidents, issued a total of 27 citations, ranging from administrative to misdemeanor citations for possession of illegal fireworks. The consequences of these citations range from fines of $100 to $10,000 and/or up to one year in County jail. The Riverside Public Safety Dispatch Center received over 700 calls for service reference fireworks between July 1st and the 4th, with well over 300 calls being received on the 4th alone. Enforcement efforts focused on those places where specific locations were provided to the police. Patrol officers also assisted in the enforcement efforts, handling fireworks-related calls for service or area checks in addition to their other duties.
Approximately 700 lbs. of fireworks were seized for destruction by the investigators over this time period. The investigators patrolled during the busiest hours each evening and helped the regular patrol officers handle the fireworks-related calls for service in addition to conducting on-sight activity of their own. Citations and arrests were issued when the investigators could determine a location and identify a party responsible for the fireworks.
Residents are reminded that fireworks are not permitted within the City of Riverside.