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San Benito
February 27, 2024

HPD ready to enforce illegal fireworks with help from app

Courtesy of the Hollister Police Department:

The Hollister Police Department will dedicate officers for illegal fireworks patrol on the evening of July 4.

Illegal fireworks are extremely dangerous and cause serious injuries every year across the U.S.  Those persons who are found using or possessing illegal fireworks will be cited. Property owners where illegal firework activity is occurring will also be cited. Local ordinance contain fines up to $1,000 for a first offense.

The Hollister Police Department is again partnering with the app FOREalert.  FOREalert is a free smartphone app that streamlines real-time, instant communication to our officers working on the fireworks patrol assignment.  Citizens can stay completely anonymous since no registration; login or contact information is required to use the app.  The app can be downloaded at the iTunes App store for IOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices. Location services must be turned on to use the FOREalert app.

If you see a launch or explosion that you estimate within 100 yds of your location you can report it, using FOREalerts reporting mode. FOREalert uses your devices GPS chip to access your general location and elevation. Once you report (by touching the fireworks icon) and push send. A message with a general location (about 100 yds radius) of the incident goes to the officers on the fireworks teams.

Chief of Police, Dave Westrick said, “FOREalert worked well for Hollister last year. The app has been upgraded with some of the suggestions we had from last years’ experience. It is now available in the Google Playstore for Android users and has always been available for iOS users. We learned a few things operationally and we are committing more resources this year to combat the problem of illegal and dangerous fireworks. We would like people to be able to enjoy the holiday with family and friends but celebrate in a safe and responsible way.”

You can also still report illegal fireworks over your phone using 911 for emergencies and 636-4331 for non-emergencies. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-87-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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