SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Many residents in San Jose are frustrated over the results of a crackdown on illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
In a memo from the acting fire chief to the city, only six citations were issued, 88 warnings were given and nothing was confiscated despite 1,100 complaints.
“For the 10th largest city in the United States, the capital of Silicon Valley we should be ashamed of ourselves,” said Jeff Levine who lives in San Jose.
Levine is a member of the Stop Illegal Fireworks group in San Jose, who called this year's fireworks campaign a big dud especially when compared to the crackdown from smaller cities like San Bruno.
“They had significant enforcement, significant impounding of illegal fireworks and arrests because they put some emphasis on it,” said Levine. “I don't see that emphasis in the city of San Jose.”
The fire department admits its online reporting tool needs work and reporting can be difficult with pinning neighbors against one another and many people aren't comfortable collecting evidence.
“It’s not going to be snap our fingers and then the problem is solved,” said Capt. Mitch Matlow of San Jose Fire.
Some residents said, the city may have been overly cautious given its missteps last year when it wrongly cited dozens of residents and later removed the fines.
Then, there are issues with law enforcement staffing. In the memo, the city said, there weren't enough city staff to respond to calls for service not to mention police played it safe given there were hundreds of people, many intoxicated, either lighting or watching the fireworks.
“People are having a huge fireworks show in Alviso and the police are standing there watching it and doing nothing,” said Suzanne Morrone who lives in San Jose. “The message to the people who do the wrong thing is we can do whatever we want.”
The fire department said moving forward, they'll review if they need more or different enforcement for next year.