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Richmond police struggle with July Fourth fireworks frenzy

July 05, 2016

While the city’s official July Fourth celebrations — including the annual pyrotechnics show at the bustling Craneway Pavilion — took place without incident, Richmond Police admittedly had their hands full with illegal fireworks activity around the city.

“The Communication Center is experiencing a high volume of fireworks calls from neighborhoods across the city, in combination with recurring ShotSpotter activations — numbers that easily far exceed police officer staffing,” said Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown in a written comment released on July 4. “Officers are making their way to calls as promptly as they can.”

“Independence Day and New Year’s Eve in Richmond historically experience high volumes of celebratory gunfire,” Brown continued.  “Of course, our protocol on prioritizing service calls remains in effect so that officers on or responding to fireworks details would divert or break to handle more serious crimes in progress. I’m sorry that the police response isn’t better.  We’ll do an after the fact review to help us understand why this year’s impact seems to be greater.”

On a positive note, the organized events at the Craneway Pavilion (on July 3rd) and the historic Red Oak Victory ship (on both the 3rd and 4th) reported no major incidents. The Craneway event, as in past years, was enhanced by live classical music presentations, with this year’s entertainment smoothly presented by the Oakland Symphony and the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Richmond Standard - Richmond