City lawmakers look to chief for ways to curb celebratory gunfire

- The “pop, pop, pop,” sound New Year’s night may not have been fireworks, but automatic rifle fire.

The party gunfire to ring in the New Year is serious and dangerous. That is what police chief Erika Shields told city council members who peppered her with questions after hearing plenty of stories from their constituents.

The local lawmakers then heard something that surprised them. Beat cops before the clock strikes midnight are instructed to get off the open road and park the cruiser under a bridge for fear of bullets cascading down onto the top of police cars.

Member Joyce Sheperd recounted a story of a worshipper who attended midnight service only to come out and see shattered car glass. Shell casings left behind.

The council and the chief suggested behavior must change to curb the unlawful action. One suggestion would call for the city to do public service announcements showing victims of past New Year’s indiscriminate gunfire.

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