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Put Down The Bottlerocket! Fireworks Enforcement Underway All Weekend in Santa Clara County

Patch file photo,
Patch file photo,
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office are deploying bomb technicians and San Jose police will have extra officers on patrol to crackdown on illegal fireworks through the Fourth of July weekend, agency officials said.

The sheriff's office plans to send out eight deputies over the weekend to unincorporated areas mainly to avoid fires in current dry conditions, sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said.

The eight employees on patrol will include two sergeants and six deputies, four of whom are trained bomb technicians trained to handle explosives who will enforce the law but also talk with people about fireworks, he said.

"We've always taken (illegal fireworks use) seriously," Stenderup said. "The difference is the fire danger this year."

Those caught shooting off their own pyrotechnics or possessing them could face arrest on suspicion of a misdemeanor, receive a citation or be allowed off with a warning depending, for instance, on the amount of negligence by the violator, Stenderup said.

Deputies will be paying close attention to the foothills east of San Jose, the unincorporated Alum Rock area and Mount Hamilton due to the risk of vegetation fires sparked by illegal fireworks, Stenderup said.

County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said that she and people in her District 2 in East San Jose will welcome the patrols.

"Residents are angry about the proliferation of illegal fireworks throughout their neighborhoods and the dangers to health and property they pose," Chavez said.

In San Jose, the Police Department will be using additional officers to perform high-visibility patrols for enforcement of city laws against fireworks, police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said.

It is a misdemeanor crime to light or possess fireworks anywhere in San Jose and violators can be arrested, serve jail time or be fined up to $1,000, Morales said.

The San Jose Fire Department's Bureau of Fire Prevention sent out five, two-person car teams on July 4th from about 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., according to fire officials.

The teams were to drive through specific districts in the city to be visible and contact people in the community when they see fireworks, fire officials said.
      
--Bay City News

rockinghranch1 July 06, 2014 at 01:54 PM
FYI, Spring Valley Vol. Fire Dept. has been out patrolling every evening since July3rd and will again tonight. Thanks SVVFD for all your help keeping our community safe this 4th of July weekend.

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