PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

7/6/2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 070620
Subject:
Fourth of July Weekend Public Safety Statistics
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
jic@longbeach.gov
RESIDENTS: Call 562.570.INFO




Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach encouraged all residents to celebrate the 4th of July safely at home and reminded residents that all fireworks, including those labeled Safe and Sane, are illegal in Long Beach.

Ahead of Independence Day, the City communicated their Celebrate Safely message to educate the public about the hazards of fireworks as well as the consequences of setting off fireworks illegally. This year, Long Beach and the region experienced a lot of illegal firework activity.

Several fireworks reporting options were made available via the City’s fireworks information hub, www.longbeach.gov/fireworks. Reporting options included emailing the local police patrol division, calling the City’s Communications Center or submitting a complaint via the City Prosecutor’s Fireworks Complaint Public Portal, where photos and video could be uploaded. From the portal’s launch on June 22, more than 460 complaints related to fireworks have been reported to the City Prosecutor. The Prosecutor’s office has sent 205 letters to addresses where fireworks complaints have been identified. The letters notified recipients that the discharge of illegal fireworks constitutes a public nuisance and that prosecution under California Penal Code section 373a (with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) may commence if the public nuisance persists. 

This year, 808 pounds of fireworks were recovered by Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) investigators and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) during peak firework season (between May 22, the start of Memorial Day weekend, and July 4, 2020). These fireworks were confiscated by the LBFD Investigations Team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Arson Unit Task Force for safe disposal through the State of California, Fire Marshal’s Office. Separately, 59 fireworks-related citations were issued by LBPD to individuals in the weeks leading up to Independence Day. On July 4, citywide police enforcement resulted in 13 felony arrests, 10 misdemeanor arrests and an additional 13 fireworks-related citations issued.

For the 24-hour period of July 4, there were 779 fireworks-related calls to the City’s Dispatch Center. For the 24-hour period of July 4, the Dispatch Center saw a 67% increase in calls compared to an average day. Dispatch Center staff handled 3,854 calls (9-1-1 and the non-emergency line), which resulted in 1,301 calls-for-service. In comparison, on an average day, the Dispatch Center handles approximately 2,301 calls (both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line), and about 566 calls-for-service. During the peak time period of 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., the Dispatch Center received 449 calls (both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line), an average of 10 calls per minute. Staffing in the Dispatch Center was augmented by 40% between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. for the anticipated increase in call volume. 

Amateur fireworks, including sparklers, cause tens of millions of dollars annually in property damage, and result in many injuries, the majority of which are suffered by children. This year, LBFD responded to 23 fireworks-related calls, such as tree/bush/grass fires, trash fires and house/apartment fires related to fireworks.

In alignment with Los Angeles County, Long Beach beaches were closed to the public over Fourth of July weekend. Events like fireworks shows, block parties and other types of large gatherings were not permitted. 

Additionally, the State has mandated the closure of bars, indoor dining rooms and indoor museum spaces in Los Angeles County in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. In order to ensure compliance with mandated closures and safety protocols, the City established the Venue Task Force to conduct educational outreach to businesses and checking businesses to verify compliance with the City’s Health Order. 

From July 2 through July 4, the task force visited 655 locations, mostly bars and restaurants, and issued nine administrative citation warning notices to businesses for violation of the order. It is critical that businesses continue to follow all health orders and protocols for everyone’s safety. To report violations, people may call 562.570.2633 or visit www.longbeach.gov/lbds

People may continue to report illegal firework activity, with options to upload evidence, at www.longbeach.gov/fireworks.

For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit: longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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