WAAY 31 learned Huntsville Police are cracking down on fireworks illegally being set off in the city.
They told us they're getting calls when the illegal fireworks are confused for gunshots which is a waste of your taxpayer dollars.
The department told us they don't have the number of calls they have received so far this year. However, they did tell me us they received more than 200 calls last July 4th for gunshots which turned out to just be fireworks. According to police, that's more shots fired calls in one night than they usually get in three months.
Delicia Campbell told me she's heard illegal fireworks going off in her neighborhood in north Huntsville this year, but said it's hard to tell whats a firework versus a gunshot.
"They both have that very loud quick pop sound," she said.
The Huntsville Police told us they've already started responding to calls because of the confusion.
"People hear these fireworks going off. They think it's gunfire. They call it in as shots fired calls. The problem it poses with the department it takes resources off the street to respond to emergencies," said Sgt. Tony McElyea.
Police told me they can't pinpoint how many calls they've responded to this year so far, but they're working on upgrading their software to have a better grasp on the problem.
Campbell told me fireworks going off late at night has one of her kids worried.
Now, HPD is asking for people to try to differentiate between gunshots and fireworks, but want everyone to feel safe this holiday season.
"We want to encourage people who think their safety is at risk to call police," McElyea said.
Campbell told us she's happy to hear police are enforcing the firework ban in Huntsville.
"Hopefully it stops them from doing it. Because it makes a really cool holiday not so cool," she said.
It is illegal to shoot off fireworks inside the Huntsville city limits, and Huntsville police say if they catch you, then you could receive a fine or even be arrested.
- Huntsville Police explain firework ban
- Huntsville police address confusion surrounding firework ordinance
- Huntsville police confiscate illegal fireworks during holiday
- Huntsville Utilities explains energy consumption
- Huntsville Police explain how new technology is making streets safer
- Huntsville attorney explains what's next in police officer's murder case
- Huntsville police explain mental health training for officers
- Huntsville Utilities lineman explains Hurricane relief efforts
- Thousands battle heat to enjoy fireworks in Huntsville
- Huntsville bomb techs explain gear used to examine suspicious devices