City officials encourage people to stop using fireworks before and after the holidays

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Fireworks have caused issues for some citizens and law enforcement.

“Discharging fireworks in the city limits is illegal there’s a city ordinance against it as well you can’t sell fireworks inside the city limits,” said Columbus chief of police Fred Shelton.

Firework shows are a sight to see, but the place to do it isn’t inside the city limits.

“Several residents have called me about how the proximity of the people discharging fireworks close to their property. One lady said that the fire was at her grass and she was concerned that something might catch on fire,” said Shelton.

Some people call about the sound of fireworks; while others complain about the trash it leaves. There typically aren’t problems with them being used in the county, but the city prohibits them for safety.

“Due to the proximity of cars, people and buildings close together it poses a safety threat. We want people to have fun but it’s a safety threat,” said Shelton.

Chief Shelton said they’ve gotten nearly 25 reports of fireworks being popped in city limits and with most of them being juveniles if they’re caught their parents are left to handle the fine.

“We send an officer out there if an officer finds someone there of course we can issue them a citation but again it’s generally going to be juveniles and when they see the police car coming down the street they take off and run. If we do find where they live we can go and we can talk to their parents and with a juvenile, we would have to issue the citation to the adult the fine for that is $252,” said Shelton.

Columbus Residents feel that the lack of city funding has pushed people to have their own entertainment.

” I think not having somewhere provides to watch fireworks is contributing to going and buying fireworks and setting them off themselves,” said Columbus resident Japa Castro.

Officials encourage fireworks to be used only on Independence Day or New Year’s Eve because they can be mistaken for gunshots.

“Distinguishing fireworks from an actual gunshot was another concern because is it fireworks? Is it gunshots? so we have to be cognitive of which one it is because it’s a danger either way because what goes up must come down,” said Shelton.

Chief Shelton hopes for a firework show to make it’s way back to the area in the future.

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