Happy New Year! Take Cover!! This morning at church I asked my friend, Jack, who is an officer with the Pinecrest Police Department, whether he would be on duty tonight, and he said he would be. He also told me that all the officers that would be on duty would be called back to the station shortly before midnight to take cover in the parking garage until about 12:15 AM.
The reason for that is the local custom among a significant portion of the population of running outside at midnight New Year's Eve and firing off guns in the air. The problem is that the bullets are known to come down after they are blasted up. This warm custom has had lethal consequences for the general public in the past.
Maybe the worst place for this sort of thing is in Hialeah, just across the Miami Canal from us. Jack told me that the officers on duty over there are ordered to take shelter under the expressway bridges around midnight.
UPDATE: A very sad illustration.
FURTHER UPDATE: Another report on "celebratory gunfire" in South Florida.