Pasadena Police Department cracks down on illegal firework usage


The message couldn’t be clearer.

All fireworks are illegal in Pasadena and the Pasadena Police Department is aggressively targeting individuals who set them off.

The city has seen a dramatic spike in calls for service for fireworks-related calls, Pasadena Police Lt. Bill Grisafe said.

In June 2019, PPD responded to 86 calls for service, but in June 2020, the Department has already seen well over 500 calls through the first 25 days of June, the lieutenant said.

“We’ll probably approach 600 at this point,” Grisafe said. “That’s more than a 500-percent increase.”

Pasadena maintains a zero tolerance enforcement policy for fireworks, and the city’s firefighters and police are partnering on special fireworks enforcement patrols every day through the Fourth of July holiday.

 “We’re going to cite people and we are going to make sure they are aware that there are consequences to their behavior,” Interim Fire Chief Bryan Frieders said in a video interview with ABC 7.

Pasadena’s municipal code also allows for the prosecution of fireworks-related offenses and for the demand of payment for all costs associated with the safe disposal of confiscated fireworks.

Violators are subject to arrest and having their vehicles impounded.

Additionally, violators can be fined up to $50,000 and serve up to one year in jail.

If children are caught setting off fireworks, their parents will be fined and cited,” Pasadena Police Chief John Perez said.

“We are really balancing our approach to policing and insuring that we are not around making arrests of young children,” Perez said in an interview with ABC 7. “The parents are responsible for those and that’s who’ll receive those citations.”

Parking enforcement officers will also ensure that vehicles illegally parked in Pasadena’s hillside areas on July 4 are impounded.

The fire department will also be applying Phos-Chek to brush areas around the Arroyo area.

The main ingredients of this fire retardant are phosphates and fertilizers to help prevent plants from burning and to re-vegetate burned wild land areas.

Statistics show that fireworks are among the most dangerous of all consumer products.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July holiday with more than half of those injuries being burns.

Injuries to eyes, head, hands, fingers, face and arms account for 70 percent of fireworks related injuries according the CPSC

Even hand-held sparklers, which many consider safe, are dangerous and can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, causing serious burns or fires.

The Police Department is asking residents to report fireworks activity in their neighborhood at 626-744-4241. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

Residents may also use the Pasadena Citizen Service Center mobile app to report illegal fireworks.

Check out Pasadena Police Chief John Perez on Good Morning America:

Pasadena PD’s Chief John Perez featured on Good Morning America.