The Barstow Police Department has assigned a special enforcement team to focus on individuals possessing or discharging illegal fireworks within the city.
This enforcement action will be held June 28 to July 5 as part of Barstow Police Department’s continuing efforts to reduce the use and risks of illegal fireworks in the community.
Although Barstow permits Safe and Sane fireworks within city limits, illegal fireworks are still a growing problem in the community.
On Fourth of July in 2015, there were 76 service calls, 9 citations and 49 illegal fireworks seized but last year the number more than doubled with 160 service calls, 11 citations, one arrest and 102 illegal fireworks seized.
“It’s been positive, we have been able to cease a lot of illegal fireworks in the community,” Barstow Police Department Capt. Andrew Espinoza said.
The Barstow Fire Protection District recently joined the special enforcement to help the Barstow Police Department determine what kind of illegal fireworks they are dealing with.
“It’s good to have them present lending their expertise,” Espinoza said.
For a firework to be considered illegal, it must explode, shoot in the air or move on the ground, according to the Barstow Police Department.
Safe and Sane fireworks cannot be discharged on sidewalks, streets or public areas, only on private property located in the city.
Anyone under the age of 18 cannot discharge a Safe and Sane firework unless supervised by an adult and they can only be discharged between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. beginning June 28 through July 5.
If someone is caught discharging illegal fireworks, it is considered a misdemeanor, leaving them with a citation and the Police Department seizing the fireworks.
Those who are fans of fireworks, but who also may want to keep their distance, can attend the City of Barstow's 20th annual Fireworks Spectacular on July 4, located at Robert A. Sessions Memorial Sports Park, 2800 Mayor Katy Parkway. The free fireworks show will feature a beer garden, live music, games and more.
To report the use of illegal fireworks, call the Barstow Police Department at 760-256-2211.