Champaign Police Department to Enforce Reduction of Celebratory
Gunfire During the July 4th Holiday Season
What: Celebratory gunfire remains a problem in many cities, particularly during the July 4th holiday season, and sadly, it can often have tragic results when innocent people are hit by the bullets and injured or killed. The reality is that any bullet discharged from a gun, even into the sky, must land at some location, and the risks are significant for injury or death.
Why: Over the past month, the police department has investigated nine (9) incidents involving firearms and shots fired calls. During this holiday season, the department expects an increase in these types of calls due to the fireworks that will be discharged in neighborhoods. Therefore, the Department is urging the community to avoid the use of illegal fireworks and any explosive devices which emulate the sound of gunfire. Residents are urged to report any illegal activity by calling 9-1-1 or submitting information to Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS) or www.373tips.com.
The Champaign Police Department is committed to its policy of zero tolerance of illegal gun use and its effort to combat gun violence in our community. Ensuring residents’ quality of life and ensuring the safety and security of our neighborhoods is our mission.
How: During the upcoming holiday, the Champaign Police Department will be deploying patrol officers in specific areas of the city that have the highest amount of gunshot and firework activity recorded in recent months and last year’s holiday season. Officers will respond to calls in these areas and take enforcement action against anyone caught discharging a firearm or illegal fireworks in public. As normal, officers will also be deployed throughout the city to maintain the peace, prevent crime and violence and arrest drunk drivers.
The Champaign Police Department Police will attempt to detect and locate illegal gunfire and fireworks violations and help improve public safety during this July 4th holiday season.
“If you have to light the wick of a firework and it either explodes or shoots in the air, it is illegal to use in Champaign County,” says John Koller, Fire Marshall. “Leave the fireworks to Certified Professionals or go to the Champaign County Freedom Celebration,” he added.
Effective July 1, 2013, the fine for using illegal fireworks will be $185. More information is available on Municode at http://library.municode.com, Chapter 13 – Fire Prevention and Protection and Hazardous Materials – Article IL – Fireworks.
Rene A. Dunn