This is part of a series of updates from Mayor Mark Stodola addressing various topics of interest to the citizens of Little Rock.
Message from the Mayor
Fourth of July
Independence Day is always a special time for our country as we remember the beginning of our nation and the men and women who fought and died for our freedom. During this time, many of us will gather with friends and family to celebrate the holiday. Unfortunately, this important occasion is sometimes celebrated with an exuberance that is dangerous to our fellow citizens. Fireworks and firearms are very dangerous and can have terrible unintended consequences.
The City of Little Rock does not allow fireworks to be sold or used within the city limits. Please remind your friends and neighbors that shooting fireworks is illegal. Given the recent dry weather and our county’s current burn ban, the use of fireworks can easily cause an accidental fire. In fact, just last week, the Little Rock Fire Department responded to a 20-acre fire that threatened homes in West Little Rock. This fire resulted from youths playing with fireworks. Last July, the Little Rock Police Department received 818 calls about fireworks and, with the dangers of fireworks and the dry weather, we can not afford to have these fireworks shot off in our city.
In addition to fireworks, it is also illegal to discharge a weapon in the city, but many citizens shoot guns into the air while celebrating the holiday. The bullets that are fired from these guns travel back to the earth at a very high rate of speed allowing them to penetrate the roofs of houses and enter people’s homes and they can injure innocent bystanders. Last year, the Little Rock Police Department received 19 calls for shots fired over the July 4 Holiday and even more on New Year’s Eve. I know, if we speak openly about these dangers, we can reduce those numbers.
To address the issue of gunfire around the holiday, we have started a program called Operate Safe 4th in which we will utilize extra police patrols to respond to calls about suspected gunfire. Please advise your friends and neighbors that this is an unsafe and potentially violent activity that is illegal in our city.
You can notify the Little Rock Police Department of suspected fireworks and gunfire by calling 311 from 9 a.m. July 3 to 1 a.m. July 4; from 3 p.m. July 4 to 1 a.m. July 5 and during normal business hours on July 5.
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