The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) would like to remind Long Beach residents that officers will be out in force on New Year’s Eve, per a release issued Tuesday. The LBPD would also like to remind residents that “celebratory” gunfire is illegal and dangerous.
Shooting a firearm into the air has caused injuries and deaths across the country, according to the release; a falling bullet can strike a person in their head or upper body causing serious injury or death. Discharging a firearm into the air is a felony in California and punishable by up to three years in state prison, while if the bullet strikes someone, further consequences may be enacted, including the possibility of the shooter being arrested for murder.
“We want everyone to celebrate New Year’s Eve responsibly,” stated Chief Robert Luna. “Together, we can make this a safe and enjoyable holiday, so if you see something, say something.”
The LBPD strongly encourages residents to report gunfire or any other suspicious or criminal activity they see occurring. Callers should be prepared to provide an exact location and physical descriptions of the suspects and/or their vehicles, along with license plate information, if such a call can be done safely.
While most 9-1-1 calls from cell phones in the Long Beach area will be directed to the Communications Center, callers can save the Communications Dispatch Phone Line, 562.435.6711 to their contacts as an alternate number.
The LBPD provided the following tips to ensure you have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve:
- Plan ahead by naming a "designated driver" before any drinking begins
- Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option to your guests
- Remember that drinking lowers inhibitions and may cause you to make poor decisions
- If you do drink, call a taxi, use public transportation, or ask a sober friend or family member to drive you home
- Trust your instincts and recognize warning signs
- While out, be careful what you post online; don’t alert others that you are not at home and your house is vulnerable to burglary
- Report drunk drivers, Call 9-1-1