New Year's Eve is here and in some neighborhoods, that brings more than champagne toasts: namely, fireworks and idiots firing off guns.
This is despite the fact that fireworks are illegal year-round in Dallas, and it is also illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.
The Dallas Police Department is stepping up its campaign to nip that in the bud, including a partnership with Dallas Fire Rescue to monitor their possession and illegal deployment.
According to a DPD release, teams will patrol four key areas in Dallas: Central, Southeast, Southwest, and South Central. Each of the four teams will include one Dallas Fire Rescue Fire Inspector and one Dallas Police Officer.
Police department spokesperson Demarcus Black says they're trying different ways to tackle what is an annual issue.
"We still have officers answering other calls, and the police department continues to function, but it's something we deal with every year and we can't ignore," he says. "That's one of the reasons we've enlisted the Fire Department to work with us, and city marshals as well."
Whether there are ever any actual arrests made is another subject. Police activity is usually limited to confiscation and a possible citation despite the fact that the penalty for fireworks can include a citation and a firne of up to $2,000, and the fine for shooting a gun can include a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine. Discharging a firearm could also result in a deadly conduct charge which carries a penalty of two to ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.