News

City douses holiday trouble

By PHILIP PALERMO

The Mirror

The city’s efforts to curb illegal fireworks have so far garnered praise.

At the July 5 city council meeting, council members commended the work done by city staff, the police department and South King Fire and Rescue in educating residents and enforcing the city’s fireworks ban.

The use, possession and sale of fireworks have been illegal in the city since 1993, but Interim City Manager Derek Matheson said the city still received a number of complaints a year ago.

In response, Matheson said the city, police and fire teamed up to boost enforcement and education efforts.

As July 4 approached, media releases, fliers, mailers and notices were distributed to spread the word about the city’s fireworks ban, he said.

Their work did not go unnoticed by residents.

During the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting, David Kaplan used his time to congratulate the city, police and fire on their work during the Fourth of July holiday.

“It was relatively quiet,” he said.

While he pointed to a strong police presence during the holiday, Kaplan also noted the education efforts in the months leading up to the Fourth of July.

“The early education program, that’s what did it,” he said.

Matheson said there were 375 calls for service during the Fourth, of which 82 were fireworks-related.

As the city promoted its fireworks ban leading up to the Fourth, several mentions were made regarding criminal citations, which require a mandatory appearance before a judge.

Officers issued 55 citations during the Fourth, Matheson said.

In addition to citations, officers also confiscated about three times the amount of fireworks compared to previous years.

In all, the value of the fireworks was estimated at more than $10,000, he said.

Deputy Mayor Jim Ferrell said he hopes the city keeps up its efforts in the future.

“This is an example of a job done right,” he said.

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