Hollister Police Chief David Westrick, San Benito County Sheriff Darren Thompson, Probation Chief Ted Baraan and Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo would like to remind everyone of the dangers and penalties associated with celebratory firearm discharges and the use of illegal fireworks. They created a public service announcement as part of the effort (see the bottom of this story).
In a joint press release, the officials said:
Setting off fireworks and shooting guns possess a great risk for injury and even death. As such, they have no place in our City and County. Safe and sane fireworks are to be bought and used within the city limits only. Transportation outside of the city limits is prohibited.
As a part of our commitment to public safety in our communities, the City of Hollister / County of San Benito is focused on eliminating illegal fireworks and weapons discharges prior to, during and after the Independence Day weekend. During the upcoming 4th of July holiday both the City of Hollister and County of San Benito will be increasing staffing and deploying public safety officers to specific areas of the City/County that have the highest amount of gunshot and firework activity.
Your local public safety agencies have also prepared a public service announcement video on the Hollister Police Department's YouTube channel. This video can be shown at meetings, schools, in the media or shared on social media. A link to the video is here: https://youtu.be/jSjMlp5Ir9U
Remember “Dangerous Fireworks” are classified as fireworks that leave the ground and/or explode.
*Possession and/or use of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1000 and/or imprisonment in the local jail for up to one year.
*Possession of illegal fireworks that collectively contain in excess of 7,500 grains of powder (approximately 1lb) is a felony punishable by imprisonment in a state prison or local jail for up to one year and/or fine not to exceed $5000
What can you do if you find illegal fireworks o r know of someone who is using or selling illegal fireworks?
* Contact your local fire department to find out if they will accept the illegal fireworks. Hollister Fire Department will accept illegal fireworks at their stations. Call ahead to arrange for drop off – (831) 636 – 4326 or stop by Fire Station No. 1 (110 Fifth Street) Station No. 2 (1000 Union Road) or Station 4 (24 Polk St) San Juan Bautista.
* If you witness a crime or fire in progress involving illegal fireworks, call your local authorities by dialing 911.
* Those wanting to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Anonymous Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME. All calls to WeTip are confidential. WeTip is staffed 24 hrs. / 7 days a week, with bilingual operators always available. Your anonymous tip may qualify for a reward up to $1000.
Thank you and have a great holiday!
Hollister Police Department, Hollister Fire Department, San Benito County Sheriff’s Office and San Benito County Probation Department