Illegal fireworks set off ShotSpotter technology

Updated: 07/03/2014 11:10 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 10:12 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

Fireworks that people set off around their home are illegal. The big reason is they injure people and can set houses on fire.  There is also a new concern. Rochester Police say the pop of the fireworks sound like gunshots to the devices that detect gunshots in the city and police have to respond to the alerts, which can take them away from real problems.

People set off their own fireworks all around the Rochester community. News10NBC received a tip that a house on Randolph Street, the north side of the city, sets off fireworks around the Fourth of July every year. When we talked to the owner of the house, he denied that people at his house set off fireworks.

When people do set off illegal fireworks, diamond shaped devices at the top of utility poles, known as ShotSpotters, think that the fireworks are gunshots. The devices automatically alert police and by law, they have to respond.

Jackie Shuman, RPD Investigator, said, “We want to let people know that this does take away from when somebody necessarily needs us, instead of just going to a call that is a false alarm.”

On Randolph Street, Robert Laster says he hears fireworks in his neighborhood around the Fourth of July every year.

Robert Laster said, “It sounds like guns. They shouldn’t be doing it. It is illegal. They should go someplace else and do it. Not in the neighborhood, go to the fireworks downtown.

The City of Rochester professional fireworks display at Friday at 10:00 p.m. For a complete list of Independence Day events, click here.

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