CENTRAL COAST, Calif – Concerns over illegal fireworks had police monitoring crowds on the Central Coast.
During the Fourth of July, visitors at Pismo Beach celebrated by watching fireworks burst into the air.
“We are here because we don’t see the way we do in fresno,” said Fresno resident Elena Contreras. “Like they are closer like over your head.”
They said although they’ve seen illegal fireworks in their neighborhood, they prefer to watch them professionally.
“We don't have to worry about cops or anything,” said Fresno resident Pedro Toscano.
Out in Grover Beach, officers were out trying to track down people setting off illegal fireworks.
Police say this is its first year drones were used as part of the enforcement.
“We did respond to several different firework calls. We deployed the drone 31 times,” said Grover Beach Police Commander Jim Murno.
Police mentioned some arrests were made as well as citations were given out. But they are still collecting the final numbers from that enforcement.
“It was much lighter which is a good thing,” said Commander Murno. “And we hope having the drone up was a deterrent.”
Guadalupe Police also used drones to crack down illegal firework users.
“So it is kind of preliminary, but as far as I've gotten now, we had about nine citations for illegal fireworks,” said Chief of Police Michael Cash.
Those nine could be cited up to $1,000 dollars.
Officers in the community credit the drones and residents calling in as they heard loud booms in the air.
“But the most important part I think is that about 10 of them or so stopped doing the activity because of the drone they saw flying around the neighborhood,” said Chief Cash.
Local police said those who still have safe and sane fireworks to save them for next year.