National City police issue New Year’s gunfire warning

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- The National City Police Department urged the public Wednesday to shun the illegal, reckless and sometimes deadly practice of firing guns into the air to ring in the new year.

"While our goal is not to dampen the spirit of celebration, anyone engaged in the illegal discharge of a firearm will be arrested," NCPD Lt. Alex Hernandez said.

Additional patrol officers will be on the streets of the South Bay city on New Year's Eve and will respond promptly to any reports of actual or potential celebratory gunfire, according to Hernandez.

Lt. Hernandez said his department is not the only one planning on having increased patrols and enforcement on New Year's Eve.

"When I talk to my counterparts in Chula Vista and San Diego, they have the same efforts. They really want the community to be safe so we plan to bring extra bodies to patrol, extra bodies to be looking for drunk drivers and things like that," said Lt. Hernandez.

Anyone who knows of a person planning or likely to engage in the illicit tradition was asked to call National City police at (619) 336-4411. Tipsters may remain anonymous, the lieutenant said.