SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria Police dispatch is already getting tied up with fireworks complaints.
"We can get 40 to 50 or maybe 100 additional calls for service just from firework calls alone per day leading up to the Fourth of July," said Lt. Mark Streker with the Santa Maria Police Department.
Streker says they started receiving calls about the use of fireworks since the end of May. "About two weeks ago I started noticing it was picking up and we’re going to see it over the next couple of weeks without a doubt."
Since then, the city announced there won’t be a fireworks show this year, but they want to remind everyone that safe and sane fireworks are only allowed on the Fourth of July.
"Fireworks are illegal in the city of Santa Maria except on the Fourth of July. On that day, people can only use safe and sane fireworks sold from local booths from 11:00 a.m. to until 11:00 p.m.," said Mark van de Kamp with the City of Santa Maria.
Due to the high call volume the police department is staffing additional officers to respond to the fireworks calls.
Even if you don’t see an officer, that doesn’t mean they don’t see you.
The fireworks enforcement team will include undercover officers patrolling the city.
"As a matter fact I’m perfectly comfortable telling the public that not only will there be two men in marked police cars on a special fireworks detail, there will also be at least two unmarked cars roving the city being the spotters. And you’ll never know if they’re in your neighborhood and you’ll never know if they’re there," said Streker.
If you’re caught using fireworks in the city of Santa Maria before or after the designated time period on the Fourth of July, the citation is a $1,000 fine.