Holiday fireworks get out of hand

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2004

New Years is a time of celebration, and, like the 4th of July, many people like to celebrate with fireworks. But Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams reminded residents that fireworks are illegal within city limits.

"I don't have an exact number of the complaints in regards to fireworks during New Years' Day, but it was a considerable number," Williams said.

According to police dispatch records for Jan. 1, eight separate complaints were reported to the APD. Williams said that number is not unusual for the holiday.

"It wasn't a high number, really," he said.

The main problem with fireworks is they are a distraction from more serious complaints, such as domestics and armed disturbances, according to Williams.

"Running around and following up on complaints of fireworks take away from the things our department really needs to be doing. The (complaints of fireworks) are really a nuisance for our department to handle," he said.

Williams said no injuries were reported as a result to the illegal use of fireworks, but he added officers were issuing warnings.

"We've had no reports of injuries from fireworks," he said.

Williams added, "People usually comply with the fireworks law, once a warning has been given the first time. We didn't have to issue any citations or tickets for illegal fireworks, because most people are willing to cooperate."

Fireworks are illegal in the city, and Williams said the department will continue to enforce the fireworks laws.

"Fireworks are a potential cause to injury, and as long as they're in the books, we will continue to enforce the laws for citizens to abide by," he commented.