Los Angeles: Over the last several years, the Los Angeles Police Department has taken the lead in addressing the celebratory gunfire that traditionally occurs on New Year’s Eve. In partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Unified School District and others, the LAPD embarked on a two-pronged Gunfire Reduction Campaign, aimed at educating the public and targeted enforcement. Once again, the campaign has proven successful and continues to undermine the power and danger of this deadly holiday tradition. For the sixth year in a row, the combined efforts in the past education and law enforcement, have resulted in a reduction in number of shots fired calls. Additionally, arrests for illegal celebratory shooters and seized firearms have increased.
For example, in 2001, preliminary reports indicate that there was a decrease in the total number of shots fired calls. In 2001, there were 393 reports of shots fired. This is compared to the 500 reported shots fired calls in 2001 and 580 reported shots fired calls in 1999.
In addition to the above, there was an increase in the number of arrests made for indiscriminate gunfire (Penal Code Section 246.3) on New Year’s Eve 2001. This year there were eleven (11) arrests made for this charge, compared to eight (8) arrests in 2000 and three (3) arrests made in 1999. Twelve (12) arrests were made for other, gun-related charges this year, compared to twelve (12) in 2000, and eight (8) in 1999. Finally, thirty-three (33) firearms were seized this year, compared to twenty-two (22) in the year 2000, and sixteen (16) in 1999.
When these activities over the last few years are examined, it is evident that the efforts put forth by the LAPD to reduce celebratory gunfire have been effective. The number of shots fired related calls for service continues to decline. In addition, officers in the field have noted a decline in activity. Perhaps most notable is the fact that it appears that only one individual was struck by a falling round this year. Fortunately, that person only received a minor wound.
For additional information regarding the 2001-2002 Gunfire Reduction Campaign please contact Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586. The press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Guillermo Campos.