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Tampa Police officers launch PSA to warn of celebratory gunfire for New Years holiday

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 18:00:25-05

The Tampa Police Department launched a PSA to stop celebratory gunfire as we enter the New Year holiday.

In the video, posted to social media, it shows what a gunshot fired into the air can do. "A single bullet fired into the air can come down at speeds up to 300 feet per second," the video states, "the result, property damage, injury or even death anywhere within a two mile radius of the shot."

In a release, the 30 second video is asking people to consider how far a stray bullet can travel, as far as two miles away.

The video also highlights Chief Brian Dugan urging people to call and report celebratory gunfire to 911.

“Celebratory gunfire anywhere is unacceptable and against the law. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable New Year’s Eve without the fear that their life or someone else’s may be cut short by a falling bullet,” emphasized Dugan.

In 2017, the city received 45 calls for shots heard, and another 56 calls for fireworks heard on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

However, many times citizens can't decipher the difference between the two.

Next year, officers with the department will test new technology to help detect gunshots using audio sensors. ShotSpotter devices claim to alert officers of gunfire within 60seconds with 90 percent accuracy, pinpointing the location within 75 feet.

The department also says they will have increased patrols throughout the city to deter instances of celebratory gunfire during peak hours on New Year's Eve.