"Boom"! The sound of explosions combined with car alarms going off in El Monte, as the fire department set off fireworks in a demonstration of confiscated illegal fireworks. As of the end of June, the El Monte police department has confiscated over 50 tons of illegal fireworks during 25 sting operations in several cities, resulting in 41 felony arrests.
"Sometimes, to help your city, you have to go out of your city" said El Monte Mayor Pro Tem Bart Patel. The city's law enforcement has partnered with L.A. County Fire Officials in a task force that has confiscated product from other areas, like Gardena, Santa Ana and Chinatown.
El Monte itself allows "safe and sane" fireworks, which is why they are so focused on getting the illegal fireworks out of the area. El Monte Police Chief Steve Schuster puts it this way: "zero tolerance with NO warnings". Plans for enforcement include 33 additional officers and supervisors on patrol, just to issue citations and arrest people on the Fourth of July.
Even "safe and sane fireworks" are subject to limits. They can only be used on July 3rd and 4th between 10am and 11pm in the city.