Huntington Beach

Despite incidents, it was a safe 4th

POLICE IN Huntington Beach received 625 calls about illegal fireworks over the July 4 period this year.

By Jim Tortolano

Police officers and firefighters had their hands full on the July 4 “long weekend” but overall it was considered a “very safe” celebration of the Independence Day holiday in Huntington Beach.

That’s the word from Police Chief Robert Handy and Fire Chief David Segura in making a report to the city council on Monday night.

“It was an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Handy about the HBPD’s efforts to curb the problems that can occur around the holiday, with a special emphasis on the use of illegal fireworks in the city.

He reported that officers seized 1000 lbs. of the illegal stuff and issued 19 citations for their use, up from 13 in 2016. Police received 625 calls regarding fireworks, but only 84 had enough detail for officers to act on them. The HBPD received 407 fireworks-related calls in 2016.

One scary incident could have been tragic, he recounted. A person with a backpack full of illegal pyrotechnics tried to ignite them near the route of the Fourth of July parade, but was arrested. Handy emphasized it was not a terrorist attack, just a reckless person with unlawful fireworks.

Fire Chief Segura called the number of incidents “low.” There were several minor fires, but only two of them were related to fireworks. Firefighters and paramedics performed 45 medical aids over what he called “a very safe and successful holiday.”


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