Shoot off illegal fireworks in Manteca and there is a better chance than ever that you will get burned with a $1,000 fine.
Manteca in the last three years has nailed 46 people for illegal fireworks. Police and fire preparing for the next nine days have bumped up their efforts using unmarked vehicles. They will also be armed with maps pinpointing addresses that they were unable to cite last year given they couldn’t reach locations in time after dispatch received complaints.
They also have locations of 207 other addresses that were submitted by residents last year using the Nail ‘Em app. While the information submitted by the apps could lead to prosecution if the sender is willing to testify in court, most opt not to do so. That said the information will allow officers this year to zero in on hot spots.
Additional targeted patrols are being deployed Friday, June 28; Saturday, June 29; Wednesday, July 3; and Thursday, July 4.
The city’s host ordinance requires only that the property where fireworks are launched from be identified and not the person actually setting off the fireworks. Not only is that significantly easier to verify, but because it is through the administrative process and not the court system the citations are resolved fairly quickly with the city prevailing in the vast majority of cases.
Also officers in unmarked vehicles simply need to make a GPS stampeded video recording and move on allowing them to follow up with mailed citations.
Almost every citation that has been issued in the past three years has resulted in the person in control of the property where they were launched, from whether it was a homeowner or a renter, being successfully slapped with a $750 fine plus being assessed with all the costs the city incurred citing and prosecuting the case.
The goal is to make the financial hit hard enough to force people to drastically cut down on illegal fireworks.
Legal fireworks violate
sound ordinance from
10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
The city ordinance regarding when Safe and Sane fireworks — those that are legal — can be used has to comply with state law if they are allowed in a city. That means legal fireworks can be used technically 24 hours over the seven days fireworks sales take place in Manteca from noon on Friday, June 28, to midnight on July 4. Lighting Safe and Sane Fireworks at 3 p.m. on July 1, as an example, would be legal.
But what wouldn’t be legal is discharging them between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. because the city also has a noise ordinance that limits decibel levels at that time.
In a typical year officers seize more than 300 pounds of illegal fireworks. Several years ago they seized 2,000 pounds with most coming from a home in Powers Tract near Manteca High where the suspect had stored them in his teen son’s bedroom.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org