The collaborative Fireworks Task Force has concluded operations for the 2021 fireworks season. Working with our respective elected leaders and community partners, fireworks education information was spread to our communities. Additionally, the efforts of our dedicated task force members who worked in collaboration with several allied agencies resulted in 3,656 pounds of illegal fireworks seized with an approximate street value of $73,122 (attached photo). The seizure of these fireworks prevented 86,151 audible discharges from occurring in our community.
East Palo Alto:
Using Shotspotter technology, a comparison of “non-gunfire” activations during the task force operational period showed a 58% decrease when comparing 2021 with 2020.
Following an increased amount of firework related calls in May 2021, collaborative efforts by the task force, an education campaign and stepped-up patrol with new enforcement tools contributed to a notable reduction in fireworks complaints overall this year. Firework related calls for 2021 decreased 44% from 2020.
Menlo Park Fire Protection District:
The Menlo Park Fire District only responded to four (4) small brush fires on the July 4 and one (1) on July 5 related to fireworks. No damage and a significant reduction from last year which included a house fire, a carport fire and other larger brush fires.
Original release dated May 27, 2021
As regularly happens this time of year, our area has begun to report increasing incidences of fireworks across both cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. We recognize that fireworks are not only a nuisance for their disruptive noise, but they are also particularly disturbing to sensitive pets and residents within our community. This is in addition to the potential fire, damage and injury danger created by these destructive devices.
Our agencies are actively preparing messaging to our community on awareness, reporting, and safety measures related to fireworks – please keep tuned for additional information. In the meantime, we want you to report incidences of fireworks to your local jurisdiction. If you view active use of illegal fireworks and can direct us to a specific location, please call us via 9-1-1 so that we can respond as quickly as possible. General noise of fireworks may be reported via the non-emergency lines for either East Palo Alto Police Department or Menlo Park Police Department.
Proactive team effort to take fireworks off the street
A multi-jurisdictional team is already in operation comprised of officers from East Palo Alto and Menlo Park Police Departments, and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. The purpose of this team is to strike early at the root of the fireworks epidemic that impacts our area every year. In just a few weeks, this team has already seized over 1,500 pounds of fireworks, removing them from our community and preventing fire damage, injury, and trauma that could have been caused. While we are aware that the activity continues, our team is continuing to work diligently in the background to prevent as much of this illegal activity as possible, and hold those responsible accountable. Attached is a photo of a small portion of the fireworks seized this season, with more updates to come.
Acting Chief Jeff Liu, East Palo Alto PoliceChief Dave Norris, Menlo Park PoliceFire Marshal Jon Johnston, Menlo Park Fire Protection District