Monday, July 7, 2008

Did it work?

It did not. Taking a harder line on illegal fireworks does not seem to have had any significant impact on the number of complaints received from the public.

It's hard to say, though, because there are many variables that could influence the number of complaints other than the efforts of the police to warn people that we would be less tolerant of violations. In fact, that very warning may have encouraged more people to call in complaints--figuring that maybe it wasn't a worthless effort. This is a constant problem in dissecting the impact of policing strategies: there is not a direct production function for much of what we do. I suppose if there were, someone would be providing the services as a business. That's not to say that we don't have any impact at all--just that human behavior is too complicated to tease out the impact of the police from all the other variables that effect social phenomena: the weather, the work week, the economy, popular culture, and so forth.


Anonymous said...

Well on a totally subjective basis it seemed much quieter in my neighborhood (Woods Park) before July 3. Of course I used to live in Seward so Lincoln is a big improvement from the get go!

I do think that saying you would respond to complaints led people to call in - the few folks I talked to about your blog entry liked the idea that folks that were going bonkers with fireworks could face a fine.

For what it is worth.

Anonymous said...

My personal observation: Weather has a huge effect on behavior. We had fantastic weather over the Fourth of July week. When it is nice weather the irritability factor is low. Loud noises are not as irritating so as a consequence citizens are not as likely to call in complaints.

Nice weather may bring out the career criminal types but it has just been too darn nice to get mad about anything the past few days. Are the stats from this past week supporting my conclusion?

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Here in RD 105, there wasn't much fireworks activity at all until the 3rd and 4th, and nearly all of it (and there was a healthy amount) was within the allowed hours. Most booms sounded like ladyfingers, with a few inch-and-a-halfers now and then. Very few window-rattlers, and in fact the majority of the biggest booms came from distant professional displays. It's mostly owner-occupied houses and condos around 105, with few rentals and even fewer multiplexes (mostly in the SW corner of the RD around 48th & Caklvert). The activity down in RD 106 may well have been much more energetic.

Anonymous said...

I guess I misunderstood - I thought the police were going to be ticketing offenses this year even if no one called in a complaint. I should have called in then if that wasn't the case.

Is a citation written for every call in? I'm assuming not, so I'd be curious if more citations were given this year compared with last.

Anonymous said...

It seemed like there were far fewer "late" fireworks on the 5th in my neighborhood. The night of the 3rd was awful (I have a 2 1/2 year old) as someone in the area had plenty of illegals.

Anonymous said...

Fireworks were shot at my dog. I have a suspect but don't know whether to call the police or animal control.