Metro Detroit law enforcement to focus on celebratory gunfire New Year's Eve

The Detroit News

Detroit — Police across Metro Detroit will be patrolling neighborhoods on New Year's Eve to discourage celebratory gunfire when 2022 begins at midnight, officials said Friday.

While some people shoot bullets in the air to mark the new year, police say it is dangerous and will not be tolerated.

"What we are asking everyone is to just not do it," Detroit Police Chief James White said at a press conference. "We don't want anyone to bring in the new year with an arrest.

Detroit Police Chief James White addresses the news media in Detroit on Friday, December 31, 2021 as Metro Detroit Law Enforcement officials announced security measures surrounding New Year's Eve

"Our department will be active and on patrol and using all of our assets to ensure the safety of our community."

When someone shoots bullets into the air, bullets can travel upwards of a mile and then injure someone when they fall.

Discharging a firearm is illegal and can result in a punishment and a fine. Carriers of concealed weapons can also risk losing their permits, White added.

Todd Bettison, a Detroit assistant chief, called on the community to have conversations discouraging the practice at their gatherings.

"You all know someone who participates in celebratory gunfire," said Bettison. "What we are encouraging is for you to also be courageous and to have those courageous conversations ... .  Step up, encourage them not to do it."

White and Bettison were joined by officials from the Highland Park Police Department, Michigan State Police and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

All said that they will be working to curtail celebratory gunfire, along with driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana infractions. 

They asked the community to help alert them of any unlawful behavior.

"We'd rather go to 100 false alarms than miss the one that really counts," said Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw.

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com