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August 6, 2020

Illegal fireworks keep local law enforcement busy on Fourth

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Watsonville firefighters had a “very busy Fourth of July” as they responded to a total of 24 calls in the 24-hour period surrounding the holiday, including medical calls and fires to vegetation, dumpsters and structures. Units were also out patrolling for illegal firework use to prevent fires from happening.

That’s according to Watsonville Police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido, who added that officers handed out 27 citations for illegal fireworks, each of which was as high as $1,000.

The confiscated fireworks have been turned over to Cal Fire for proper disposal, Pulido said.

In the unincorporated parts of the county, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies wrote 11 citations and confiscated 110 pounds of illegal fireworks, said spokeswoman Ashley Keehn.

They also wrote 80 parking citations, while seven went to people with open containers of alcohol.

Deputies did all of this while also responding to 280 calls for service, Keehn said.

The City of Santa Cruz reported that approximately 5,000 people gathered on the city’s beaches, a far smaller number than in past holidays, Santa Cruz Police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke said.

The city reported no major acts of violence or crime as police responded to approximately 300 calls for service, made 10 arrests and issued six citations. 

Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, Blaschke said.

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