Scared pooches and police arrests: Long Beach’s Fourth of July by the numbers

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As residents fired up their grills, chilled their drinks and lit fireworks for the Fourth of July, new numbers show that Long Beach’s public-safety personnel seemed to have had an active holiday.

All available public safety agencies were on duty as thousands flocked to the city’s shoreline to see fireworks above the Queen Mary and Alamitos Bay, according to a July 5 press release from the City of Long Beach.

This year, Long Beach lifeguards made 120 water rescues along the oceanfront, Bayshore, Marina Park and the Colorado Lagoon on July 4, the city said.

Nearly 10,000 pounds of fireworks were confiscated by Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) investigators and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) during peak fireworks season between May 25 and July 4.

LBPD investigations resulted in eight arrests and 30 citations in the weeks leading up to Independence Day. On July 4, police conducted six felony arrests, 11 misdemeanor arrests and 36 fireworks-related citations, the city said.

From July 1 through July 4, there were 639 fireworks-related calls to the Long Beach City Dispatch Center, whereas last year there were 979 fireworks-related calls; this represents a 35% decrease in calls, according to the press release.

The dispatch center handled 3,525 emergency and non-emergency calls, and 765 calls-for-service. In comparison, on an average day, the dispatch center handles approximately 2,500 calls both emergency and non-emergency about 600 calls-for-service, the city stated.

Staffing in the dispatch center from 7pm to 11pm was increased by 30% for the anticipated increase in call volume. During the peak time of 8:30pm to 9:15pm, the dispatch center received 338 combined calls, an average of 7.5 calls per minute, the press release stated.

Firework noise creates panic for many animals, causing animal care shelters to fill with runaway pets every year. Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) also promoted its “Foster the 4th” campaign, connecting shelter dogs with foster families.

Fostering animals over the holiday helps make room for dogs brought to the shelter on July 4. In total, 58 shelter dogs spent their 4th of July holiday with foster families, the city said.