Local law enforcement is reminding the public that not everyone enjoys fireworks the same way. Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford says he understands that they are a large part of the Fourth of July celebration but they do pose a danger and nuisance to the public.
Mefford says that he and the Village of South Jacksonville police receive numerous complaints this time of year for illegal fireworks: “We do understand that this is the time of year and there will be fireworks. We also have to enforce those laws and the safety of the public, reminding those individuals [that use fireworks], that not everyone enjoys fireworks the same way. Some individuals in the community have PTSD things that may go on as a result of fireworks. They disturb pets and other animals. Obviously, with anything that flies, blows up, or goes ‘BANG’ there is that added safety issues and concerns about injuries, fire, or structural or property damage as a result of a firework that got away.”
Mefford says if the public is going to call in a fireworks complaint, police dispatch will need to know a few key pieces of information: “If you call, can you see the fireworks? Can you see where they are coming from? Can you see an exact location? Can you see an individual or individuals that are actually lighting off the fireworks? And if you can see them, are they doing anything that would be dangerous that would make that call more of a priority then to just to check the area for someone, for instance, that calls in and can hear fireworks in the area or see them in the distance? It is more helpful to us if we have an exact location and/or an unsafe act that’s being performed or done that way we can prioritize those fireworks calls to be the most efficient with our services.”
Fireworks tickets are a city ordinance violation that may result in a citation and fine. Multiple complaints could result in a disorderly conduct charge or more. Mefford says people should try to be mindful of their neighbors and their pets this holiday season.