Los Angeles residents have reported to police hearing far more illegal fireworks being set off this month than during the same time last year, prompting the LAPD to ask the public on social media, “Do you think they’re annoying?”
Internal police data obtained by the NBC4 I-Team shows between June 1 and June 13, 2020, LAPD officers were dispatched to 459 reports of fireworks, a 104% percent increase over the same days in 2019, when officers were sent to 224 calls.
The data also shows dispatchers sent officers to check out reports of shots fired 276 times during those days in 2020, versus 162 in 2019, a 70% increase. Firework explosions and gunshots are often mistakenly reported for one another, an LAPD official said, making the count of dispatches inexact.
The I-Team has learned the number of reports phoned-in to police jumped more than 250% during the same two weeks, though the same official said there are often multiple reports for a single incident.
On Sunday night, the LAPD’s main Twitter account sent a message that said, “A lot of talk on Twitter about fireworks. Do you think they’re annoying?”
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The message contained a link to a website where residents can report people they see setting off fireworks, and a poll for respondents to check, “yes,” or, “no,” to the ‘annoying’ question.
“As a reminder, all fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles,” @LAPDHQ said in the message.