Tired of your neighborhood looking and sounding like a firefight in Kabul?
There’s an app for that.
Manteca authorities are encouraging residents to download the app “Nail’Em” available from various app stores to help make those responsible for discharging illegal fireworks in the city pay the price.
The app is simple to use. It has a video component — or you can shoot your video independently using your smartphone video and download it later — as well as a question asking you to authorize the Global Position System to take a reading, an audio portion to make a verbal report, a written section as well and then a form for your contact information to fill out before sending it directly to the email of Manteca Fire Marshal Lantz Rey.
You can say you want to make the report anonymously but that reduces the chance of a successful prosecution as police or firefighters would have to be dispatched to see if they can witness an illegal discharge at the address in question. But if you fill out your name and contact, authorities will be able to process the information and with your willingness to sign that you witnessed what happened to collaborate illegal fireworks use, the responsible parties are well on their way to getting at least a $750 fine.
At least a $750 fine because every subsequent violation — an hour later or repeatedly over the course of multiple days — will add a $1,000 fine for each documented occurrence.
Illegal fireworks are any that get airborne, move along the ground explode or modified Safe and Sane fireworks.
The so-called “host ordinance” — also adopted last year in Ripon and Lathrop in response to the barrage of illegal fireworks in 2015 — holds whoever has control of the property from which the illegal fireworks are launched responsible. If the property is not owner occupied but is rented or leased the person who is renting or leasing the property will be fined.
And those caught by the “Nail ‘Em” app developed as a public service by T-N-T Fireworks may not be off the hook just because they skirt the weekend without getting a citation. Depending upon the volume of cases emailed to Rey, it could take a month to get citations in the mail that is enforced through the administrative law process.
Those “Nail ‘Em” submissions that include the name and contact of the person sending the information “will significantly increase” the chances of those using illegal fireworks to be fined.
Police note the social host ordinance puts the burden on whoever controls the property to prevent guests or family from using illegal fireworks.
The City of Manteca has also established an email address firstname.lastname@example.org where the information collected using the “Nail ‘Em” app can be sent. The city’s government outreach system can be used as well as calling the police department’s non-emergency number.
Manteca Police and Manteca Fire also will have stepped up enforcement on the Fourth of July.
In addition, the City Council has authorized paying overtime for two Manteca Police in plainclothes to hit the streets starting Friday, July 1, armed with smart phones allowing them to move around Manteca essentially undetected to collect evidence needed to penalize homeowners and renters who allow their yards to be used to launch illegal fireworks.
The additional manpower will be on board for five days through the Fourth of July. That is in addition to police officers already on duty and firefighters.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com