Enforcement to Reduce Celebratory Gunfire during 4th of July Holiday Season

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. The Champaign Police Department is committed to combating gun violence in our community. Ensuring residents’ quality of life and the safety and security of each neighborhood is our mission.

Why:  Since May 22, 2014, the Champaign Police Department has investigated fifteen (15) gun-related incidents, to include 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.

How:  During the upcoming holiday, the Champaign Police Department will be strictly enforcing city ordinances for illegal fireworks.  The Champaign Police Department 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 the City of Champaign,” says John Koller, Fire Marshall. “Leave the fireworks to Certified Professionals or go to the Champaign County Freedom Celebration,” he added.

The fine for using illegal fireworks is $185. More information is available on the City of Champaign’s Municipal Code online, Chapter 13 – Fire Prevention and Protection and Hazardous Materials, Article II – Fireworks.