OXNARD POLICE DEPARTMENT
|INCIDENT:||Be a Good Neighbor– Don’t Use Illegal Fireworks in Oxnard|
|DATE/TIME:||June 4, 2018|
|PREPARED BY:||Melissa Valdez, Community Affairs Manager|
|CONTACT PERSON AND CONTACT INFO:||Melissa Valdez (805) 342-8292|
|Click here to access Oxnard 311
With the Independence Day Holiday approaching next month, the Oxnard Police & Fire Departments would like to remind the public that ALL FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL in the City of Oxnard. This includes those that are marked “Safe & Sane” and are legally purchased in other cities. Anyone possessing, storing, selling, using, transporting, or handling fireworks is subject to arrest or fines of up to $1,000. The City of Oxnard asks its residents and visitors to be good neighbors by not engaging in illegal fireworks activity.
Be a Good Neighbor
Fireworks are not only dangerous, they are a nuisance in the community. Fireworks can be extremely frustrating for neighbors, especially when homes are close to each other, or when people are trying to sleep. Small children and pets are frightened, and the latter are more likely to panic and escape from their homes. Fireworks pose a risk of injury as well as fire danger, and are responsible for injuries every year. The large influx of fireworks disturbance calls ties up 9-1-1 lines, and also competes with other emergency calls. The City of Oxnard encourages the public to help keep family, friends, and neighbors safe during the Independence Day Holiday by joining the Good Neighbor Campaign. The Good Neighbor Campaign takes a stand against illegal fireworks, and asks residents to BE Courteous, BE Responsible, and Be a Partner with public safety by reporting illegal activity.
Illegal fireworks bring consequences
Under California Health & Safety Code section 12677, it is unlawful for any person to possess dangerous fireworks without holding a valid permit. Any person who violates this law is guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be punished by a fine ranging from $500 and $1000 and/or imprisonment in the county jail up to a year. (See HSC 12700[a].).
The City of Oxnard has ordinances that prohibit the sale, use, or possession of fireworks within the city, and fines range from $250 to $1,000 per offense. On April 10, 2018, the Oxnard City Council adopted an ordinance that establishes “host liability” for fireworks violations. The ordinance went into effect on May 10, 2018. Under its provisions, property owners, tenants, or hosts can be held liable for the sale, possession, or use of fireworks on their property. Once a “host liability” case is opened, follow-up investigation will be done by Code Compliance or Police Department staff, and the responsible party will receive a citation at a later time.
“The Oxnard Police Department plans a focused enforcement effort for fireworks violations this year,” said Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites. “Police Officers and Code Compliance staff will be stepping up our efforts to hold fireworks offenders accountable. However, we will make efforts to express this to the community in advance, with some hope that the public thinks twice about it. If someone really wants to see fireworks, please consider other options out there, such as the Fireworks by the Sea event at the Channel Islands Harbor.”
The Police Department will present information about fireworks at the Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Inter Neighborhood Council Organization (INCO). This meeting starts at 7PM, and will be held in the Oxnard City Council Chambers. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Benites added, “We want to let our residents know that fireworks are prohibited in Oxnard, and we will also communicate this through our ongoing and everyday discussions with the community. We also plan to send fireworks information and admonishments out on the Department’s social media platforms, primarily Facebook, Nextdoor.com, Twitter, and the department’s web page (www.OxnardPD.org). People really need to know fireworks not only present a risk of injury and fire, but they simply disturb a lot of people.”
Reporting Fireworks Activity
The Independence Day Holiday is typically one of the busiest days for the Police Department. On the actual 4th of July, it is not unusual for the Oxnard Police Department to receive over 400 fireworks-related calls (441 in 2016, and 428 in 2017) in addition to the nearly one thousand phone calls it normally processes each day. During June and July of 2017, the Police Department’s dispatch center received some 2,033 phone calls that concerned fireworks disturbances. Many of the calls are from frustrated residents. The Police Department would like to provide the public with some reporting options that best address the type of fireworks issue, in hopes of reducing frustration and increasing the Police Department’s ability to address the problem.
To report fireworks disturbances, community members can be Good Neighbors by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (805) 385-7740. Having as much specific information as possible regarding the firework activity, such as an address, suspect description, etc. is most helpful to the response.
To report the ongoing, habitual use of fireworks, the public can contact the Oxnard Police Department Fireworks Hotline at (805) 394-5884, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips received through the phone and email hotlines will help the Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Team better identify fireworks-active areas, and address illegal activity. The hotline can be used through July 4th. Hotline/email tipsters can state that they want to remain anonymous. Police Department staff members will check these tip lines daily and follow up when possible. Please note that these options are not continuously staffed and are for messages only, so they are not intended for disturbances that are in progress.
This week, the City of Oxnard launched a new feature on the Oxnard 3-1-1 app that allows residents to conveniently report fireworks “host liability” violations at specific locations on the internet or via smart phones. With the Oxnard 3-1-1 app, residents can anonymously report, and upload video/photos. Complaints will be reviewed by Code Compliance officers, who will share information with the Police Department. Follow-up will be done on those complaints, which can result in the issuance of citations for fireworks violators, or the property landlord/tenant/host. The Oxnard 3-1-1 app is free, and can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or on Google Play. It is also available on the City of Oxnard’s website at https://www.oxnard.org/your-service-connection/. Please note that 3-1-1 is not intended for fireworks disturbances that are in progress.
Members of the public who want to dispose of illegal fireworks can stop by any of the Oxnard Fire Department’s eight stations to hand over fireworks without facing penalties:
- Station 1: 491 S. K St.
- Station 2: 531 E. Pleasant Valley Rd.
- Station 3: 150 Hill St.
- Station 4: 230 W. Vineyard Ave.
- Station 5: 1450 Colonia Rd.
- Station 6: 2601 Peninsula Rd.
- Station 7: 3300 Turnout Park Circle
- Station 8: 3000 S. Rose Ave.
The City encourages the public to enjoy the free annual fireworks show, Fireworks by the Sea, at Channel Islands Harbor. For more information, visit www.channelislandsharbor.org.
Please share this information with your neighbors and your Neighborhood Councils. A little prevention will make our summer holidays more fun!
Be a good neighbor – DON’T USE ILLEGAL FIREWORKS IN OXNARD!
DATE / TIME PREPARED: June 4, 2018/ 4:00 PM