In response to random gunfire on local New Year’s Eves in the past, the Redwood City Police Department (RCPD) announced the start of "Operation Silent Night 2012" tonight.
The Police Department hopes to reduce random gunfire tonight and, moving forward, year-round, through this program of "education, suppression, and prosecution," the department said in a statement released Saturday.
Throughout New Year's Eve in Redwood City, the RCPD will be using its "Shot Spotter" gunshot locater system, which determines the exact location of any firearm discharged in the city.
The reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony under the Penal Code, and carries up to a three-year prison sentence.
"The Redwood City Police Department is advising the public that celebrating the new year by shooting a gun into the air is not only illegal, it can hurt or kill people," Sgt. Ashley Osborne said in the department's statement.
In time for Operation Silent Night, the RCPD has established a special gunshot telephone hotline at 650-780-7639, and urges the public to call in the event gunfire is heard, particularly on New Year’s Eve.
Through increased public awareness, the RCPD said it has seen a significant decrease in reports of random gunfire, and attribute it to this program.
Redwood City Police officers will be "investigating and tracking down any individuals shooting guns into the air," the statement indicated. Arrests will be made when possible, and violators will be booked at San Mateo County Jail, they added.
"The Department's goal in using the Shot Spotter system, increased patrols, and public information is to reduce or eliminate the incidence of gunfire in celebration of New Years Eve," Sgt. Osborne explained.
"The public is asked to use the gunshot hotline, celebrate without the use of firearms, and to have a safe and happy New Years Eve," she added.
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