With Fourth of July celebrations right around the corner, residents can now report illegal firework activity happening across Santa Clarita thanks to a new online system launched by the city.
Users of the Resident Service Center, accessed via santa-clarita.com or the Santa Clarita mobile app, can pinpoint and submit exact locations where fireworks are being set off and include incident-specific details, according to a city news release Tuesday.
“Fireworks can be hazardous to people and pets, and create unnecessary danger in our already fire-prone environment,” Capt. Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said in a prepared statement. “This new feature will assist our crime prevention team and patrol deputies to plan out proactive enforcement and patrols in the days leading up to, and after the Fourth of July and other times of increased fireworks usage in the community.”
By searching “illegal fireworks” in the service center, residents can also submit locations notorious for illegal firework use. Information entered will automatically be transmitted to the Sheriff’s Department, which Shirley Miller, SCV Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman, said is highly beneficial for deputies on duty.
“Deputies not only handle illegal firework calls,” she said. “They also handle calls for batteries, burglaries, etc. It’s hard to be at all places all the time so this system will help us. Our crime analyst will be very instrumental. She’ll use a mapping system to pinpoint different areas and we will be able to better distribute deputies.”
While immediate data on how many related incidents have been reported across the SCV wasn’t readily available, Miller said, “we do get a significant amount of calls reporting firework activity. For every one incident, it generates multiple, multiple calls from different areas so this system will help.”
The information provided by residents via the service center will be used to “predictively” map out problem areas and will not result in an immediate response from the Sheriff’s Department, city and law enforcement officials emphasized.
All fireworks, including those labeled “safe and sane,” are considered illegal in Santa Clarita. Government and safety officials are set to highlight the dangers of illegal fireworks and where residents can engage in safe Fourth of July festivities during a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Fire Station 126.