CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — Sending the year out with a bang!

For some people, the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day is a time to go outside and fire guns into the air. Police are hoping to discourage the practice. WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.

Chicago Police Commander Marc Buslik told WBBM he does not understand this – people firing guns to ring in the new year. In some neighborhoods it sounds like the Fourth of July.

“If been with the police department for 37 years, I just don’t get that. It’s one of the most dangerous things you can do as a person, shoot that gun off into the air, you have no idea where that bullet is going to land and every year we get people hurt as a result of that,” Cmdr. Buslik said.

A bullet fired straight up falls with less velocity, but can still do damage. This New Year’s will be the first with widespread use of ShotSpotter technology on police officers’ smart phones. In some places, the technology is sure to light up at the stroke of midnight.

“It is the one thing our officers will be paying attention to on New Year’s Eve because it is such a dangerous thing to do,” Cmdr. Buslik said.