Fireworks: The SFPD's Fourth of July Game Plan

During San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief William Scott’s Virtual Citywide Public Safety Meeting in June, one “hot topic” of concern to community members was the department’s game plan for Independence Day, Sun. July 4, particularly regarding illegal fireworks.

SF SAFE Executive Director Kyra Worthy kicked off the discussion by asking SFPD Deputy Chief David Lazar if he could “update the public about the response and how patrol is going to be deployed during the Fourth of July.”

According to Deputy Chief Lazar, San Francisco will be hosting its fireworks show this year at the waterfront, with an estimated 80,000 people attending. Here’s what he had to say about the department’s plans regarding fireworks being set off by non-pros and how community members can help by reporting them to the SFPD.

If you witness illegal fireworks (ALL fireworks are illegal in San Francisco) from now until the Fourth of July, Deputy Chief Lazar says to call the non-emergency number at 415-553-0123. Describe to the dispatcher what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing and where you think it’s coming from, he said.

When observing fireworks that are really hazardous in nature, such as larger explosives like Roman candles where there's the high potential for fire, call 911.

According to Deputy Chief Lazar, on the Fourth of July, the SFPD will not only be dispatching officers to calls regarding more dangerous fireworks, but also to

less urgent calls that come in. “The community is going to be referred to a dedicated line, where we're going to answer [calls]. And at our Command Post, we're going to send out officers, through our dedicated dispatcher, to get cars to each one of the calls that come in. So in other words, it'll be a car dedicated at every [district] station,” he said.

The deputy chief also said the SFPD is “going to set up teams with the Fire Department for some of the larger fireworks that go on in the Bayview and the Mission and in other areas like that, so we're organized we have a plan.”

On the Fourth, the deputy chief reiterated that “what we're going to be doing is making sure that officers respond to each and every call that comes through.” He later added, “Let's continue to be diligent on making those calls.”

Again, San Francisco residents can call the non-emergency number 415-553-0123 to report illegal fireworks or 911 to report fireworks posing a major fire hazard.

-Kathy Chouteau