July Fourth by the numbers: Long Beach police see decrease in fireworks calls • Long Beach Post

Despite the frequent pops and bangs heard throughout Long Beach on and around the July Fourth holiday, police saw a 30 percent decrease in fireworks-related calls from July 1 through 5, according to the city.

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In that time period, there were 979 calls about fireworks this year compared to 1,227 a year earlier, authorities said in a news release.

Police officials touted their approach of outreach and enforcement prior to the holiday as a possible reason for the decrease. Firework enforcement investigations led to the seizure of several thousand pounds of illegal fireworks worth $250,000, as well as another 3,000 pounds of fireworks.

Jake Heflin, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department, said the city had a few small brush and tree fires on July Fourth, but there was no significant property damage or injuries from pyrotechnics.

During the 24 hours of July Fourth, the city’s dispatch center handled 4,395 calls for emergencies and other incidents, which is a 35 percent increase from an average day, according to the release.

The dispatch center received 408 calls—an average of nine calls per minute—during the peak time between 8:30 and 9:15 p.m., city officials said.

Police arrested 26 people on felony and misdemeanor charges and issued 32 fireworks and misdemeanor citations.

On the water, lifeguards made 122 rescues along the oceanfront, Bayshore, Marina Park and the Colorado Lagoon on July Fourth.

“The city’s primary public safety mission on July Fourth is to ensure a safe holiday for the hundreds of thousands of people visiting and celebrating in our city,” the release stated. “All available public safety personnel are on duty, as thousands of people flock to the city’s beaches and parks.”

Valerie Osier is a breaking news reporter for the Long Beach Post. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ValerieOsier

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