Missoula Fireworks Ban Enforcement Leads to 20 Citations and 47 Warnings
There were far fewer fireworks in the skies above Missoula during this year's Independence Day celebrations. Captain Chris Odlin of the Missoula Police Department explains one of the main reasons why.
"Basically, the city council and the mayor asked us to take a more active enforcement roll this year, during the Fourth of July holiday, in regards to the fireworks ordinance that has been on the books for quite some time now," Odlin said. "In the past we had done much more education and warnings, but that didn't seem to be having the effect that everyone wanted."
Odlin says police handed out 20 citations, mostly to adults and offered warnings to more than twice that number.
"I think there was only one juvenile citation that I know of so most of them were adults," said Odlin. "There were about 47 warnings issued. I do know that last year we took in over 160 calls through the fireworks hot line and this year we were down by about 30. So, we took in about 130-something calls. [The fireworks enforcement] was very well published this year, so that seemed to cut down on the amount of complaints that we got."
Each citation carried with it a potential $100 fine. The total amount of money returned to the city through fines won't be known until after a judge has heard all 20 fireworks related cases.