Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrate the New Year Responsibly

New Year’s Eve is a holiday known for celebration. It is also a holiday known for noise. Besides our normal calls for service, officers will likely be called to investigate numerous fireworks complaints.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2014. Some of the most common injuries seen in emergency rooms are caused by sparklers and bottle rockets. Fireworks can also ignite fires because of the recent drought conditions.

Please consider this our friendly reminder that fireworks are banned in the City of Overland Park. At the risk of sounding like a New Year’s Grinch, the sale, possession and discharge of fireworks, by anyone, adult or juvenile, can result in fines ranging from $200 to $500. Yes, this includes sparklers, snakes, and the smallest of firecrackers.

Another type of call we may receive is the sound of “shots fired”. In most cases this ends up being fireworks calls that are mistaken as gun fire. But if you are tempted to replace the celebration sounds of fireworks with that of gun fire, remember, what goes up, must come down.

To answer the question of: Where do bullets go when guns are fired straight up into the air? The folks at www.howstuffworks.com offered the following insight to that question.
The saying "What goes up must come down" is an appropriate starting point. If you fire a gun into the air, the bullet will travel up to a mile high (depending on the angle of the shot and the power of the gun). Once it reaches its apogee, the bullet will fall. Air resistance limits its speed, but bullets are designed to be fairly aerodynamic, so the speed is still quite lethal if the bullet happens to hit someone. In rural areas, the chance of hitting someone is remote because the number of people is low. In crowded cities, however, the probability rises dramatically, and people get killed quite often by stray bullets.

It might seem harmless to shoot up in the air for the sole purpose of making noise, but it is illegal, not to mention extremely dangerous.

The Overland Park Police Department will be out in force to make sure everyone has an enjoyable, but safe, New Year's Eve celebration