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Manteca Mayor Declares War On Illegal Fireworks

MANTECA (CBS13) — The mayor of Manteca is cracking down on fireworks, directing the city council to come up with punishments for both illegal users and dealers.

"What our mayor is looking for right now is for stricter enforcement. That's one of the things he takes really serious," Deputy City Manager Toni Lundgren said.

Mayor Benjamin Cantu suggests illegal fireworks should be treated like illegal drugs. He believers officers should be going after the dealer instead of the user to get the root of the problem.

"If you're bringing illegal fireworks in here and they can potentially harm our community, he wants there to be some kind of fine or punishment, like I guess it would be for a drug dealer," Lundgren said.

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Right now, Manteca fines illegal firework users $750, but the mayor wants that number to go up and he wants to add a $2,500 bounty for anyone crossing state lines with illegal fireworks.

"What he's looking for is maybe ways to crack down on some illegal fireworks coming into town," Lundgren said.

Fines aren't the only potential changes to firework prevention. Police may also be repositioning school resource officers.

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"Next year we talked about possibly using those three school resource officers who are not in school, assigning them to a fireworks task force," Lieutenant Stephen Schuler with the Manteca Police Department said.

The Manteca Police Department is also floating the idea of using drones to catch illegal users in the act. The city council has asked city staff to come to present suggestions and decisions will be made from there.

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