Legal Fireworks in Kennewick Goes Out with Many Bangs
The Kennewick Police Department is generally pleased with how things went with the legalization of fireworks for the first time in more than 30 years.
Police Chief Chris Guerrero says no major issues were reported in the city over the 4th of July.
"Initial numbers, we had 64 calls on the Fourth. In years past, that's been well over 100. And so, the calls for service are down but the use was likely up."
When fireworks were outlawed in the city, it was a misdemeanor offense to light them. Now that they're legal from June 28th to July 5th, police wrote up fewer infractions.
However, the number of illegal fireworks lit up the sky more frequently than in years past. As a result, you may see an added police presence on the streets next year.
"Although I think everybody had a great time, our calls were down as far as complaints go, but we still have that risk of fire that that we need to be aware of," Chief Guerrero said. "I'm a firm believer in what you allow, you encourage. How do we mitigate that risk if we're not holding people accountable for exposing people to it?"
And if the fireworks kept you awake until the early morning hours, you weren't alone. Many people complained about the use of fireworks well after the city's cut off time of midnight. If you're caught selling or lighting fireworks after 11:00 tonight, it's a 250 dollar fine.
"Again, it's about risk mitigation and trying to limit the amount of danger to the citizens and that's really what we're concerned about." Chief Guerrero said.
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