Letter: Enforcing fireworks ban takes a community

Jul 12, 2017

Our city code is clear: fireworks are illegal within the city. In fact, selling, using or discharging them is a misdemeanor criminal offense.

This Fourth of July, our patrol officers responded to 22 separate fireworks related calls for service. These responses were in addition to the other usual 911 calls for service.

At some locations, our officers were able to contact the individuals lighting off fireworks, issuing warnings while providing an education about our local fireworks ordinance and the safety issues involved. At several locations, the subjects lighting off the fireworks were gone when officers arrived.

With regard to concern about fireworks at Mukilteo Elementary and Olympic View Middle School ("Why not fine people who set off fireworks?" Patti McBride, July 12), our officers did contact a number of individuals at the school with fireworks. These subjects were intercepted, warned, and the officers ensured that they picked up all of their garbage before leaving.

While we would have liked to get to every call in time to catch the individuals involved, one challenge during the evening that we faced was the multiple fireworks displays occurring on Whidbey Island and in Everett. The noises from those displays were often mistaken for fireworks occurring within our city limits.

The Mukilteo Police Department remains committed to educating the public about our city’s fireworks ban through a balanced approach to law enforcement.

Many of our contacts were dependent on citizens calling in the violations, as our officers are not able to be in every neighborhood at all times. As a community, we should work together to help educate our neighbors about the fireworks ban in the city, and to encourage safe alternatives to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

 

Cheol Kang
Mukilteo Police Chief
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