(July 6, 2005) -- LBPD tells LBReport.com that it wrote nearly 500 citations for misdemeanor fireworks charges between June 29 and July 4. Those receiving citations will now face adult or juvenile forms of the justice system as appropriate.
LBPD Public Information Officer Jackie Bezart says that on July 4, LBPD fielded a special enforcement unit of 121 officers citywide. That's significant because it's in addition to regular patrol officers. On July 4, the LBPD special enforcement unit wrote 293 misdemeanor citations...of which 247 were for pyros.
In addition, LBPD's regular patrol officers wrote 205 citations for fireworks between June 29 and July 4.
That means 452 people are alleged to have violated misdemeanor anti-fireworks laws in LB between June 29 and July 4.
Of the 452 citations, some quantum [not precisely known as we post] are juvenile citations which will be referred to the District Attorney for handling in the juvenile enforcement system.
The remainder -- adults -- will be dealt with by the LB City Prosecutor's office. Spokesman Noel Hacegaba tells LBReport.com that depending on the circumstances, City Prosecutors may recommend (upon conviction or a guilty or nolo contendre plea) a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000, or community service, or in the most egregious cases up to six months in County jail. The judge decides the appropriate sentence.
"The whole point really is deterrence," Mr. Hacegaba said. "We don't want them to do it again."
In response to a reader's inquiry, we asked LBPD how many citations for fireworks were written last year. On July 4th 2004: 64 misdemeanor citations were written of which 59 were for pyrotechnics. LBPD doesn't have handy a 2004 figure for June 29-July 4. The lower number, of course, doesn't necessarily mean there were more fireworks in 2005...only that LBPD (with its special enforcement unit) wrote more citations in 2005.