Police Warn Against A Popular Celebration When The Clock Strikes Twelve

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UPDATED: Wednesday January 1, 2014 2:20 PM

Celebrations for the New Year come with a stern warning from police: no celebratory gunfire.

Police say their biggest concern is what happens when a bullet is shot in the air.  They say it could eventually go through a roof, or even hit someone walking along the sidewalk.  These are dangers they want to avoid.

The clock strikes twelve.  The gunfire from years past, captured on camera.

“It sounds like war. I mean, for a good 10-15 minutes, you have shots fired right when it's midnight,” said Whitehall Police Officer Tom Brown.

The results were lasting in ways that echo well beyond the celebration.  “And every time you pull that trigger, the more chance of someone getting struck,” said Officer Brown.

As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down.

Hours before the gunfire, officers were out patrolling the streets, preparing for anything that might happen.

Police say the consequences of celebratory shooting are dangerous for everyone around, including officers on the road.

“If we're out going call, to call, to call, then we'll find the nearest place that can be under shelter at a bank, where the ATM is, or the station,” said Officer Brown.

A serious and illegal offense, keeping dispatchers busy and police on high alert.  “When a call's received, we have to respond to it, no matter what,” said Officer Brown.

Per a city ordinance, it is illegal to fire a gun in Whitehall City limits.  So, officers encourage anyone who hears gunfire to report it immediately to police.