Increased complaints about fireworks over holiday weekend

News

This weekend’s holiday celebrations led to hundreds of phone calls to local police complaining about illegal fireworks.

Different colors lit the sky this weekend as people set off fireworks all over, and that left some neighbors seeing red.

Many Erie residents took it upon themselves to create a fireworks display since many community events were cancelled. For some the pyrotechnics weren’t all fun, especially since its been an everyday occurrence in some neighborhoods.

Charity Cage, a veteran says “I’m always on edge, I’m always on alert, I wasn’t prepped for that, but I was prepared for July 4th weekend. I’ve been very edgy and I just can’t help it because it’s been 2:00 in the morning, 10:00 during the day, 4:00 in the morning.”

Erie police say the complaint calls spiked significantly this weekend. As many as 600 calls in just 3 days. But when asked how many citations were issued for lighting off fireworks in the city where it is illegal:

“None that I’m aware of yet, we’ll see here in the next few days if any of the reports get turned in late. I know that there were a lot of warnings given out,” says Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny.

The chief further explaining what needs to happen in order for the responding officer to issue a citation.

“We have to see a violation occurring in order to cite. If we suspect that they are shooting off fireworks we’ve been giving out a warning and letting people know what the law is, you have to be over 150 feet away,” says Spizarny.

Another concern is who is going to be the one to clean up the mess left behind.

“Is the business going to take time to come out here and clean up all this mess? And this is just one spot, so I can’t imagine what it looks like everywhere else in Erie right now, like who is going to take the time to come clean it up,” says Cage.

City work crews were out cleaning the streets following the weekend festivities.

Chief Spizarny says he understands the concerns of residents, but suggests officers do have to prioritize calls based on the nature of the crime being reported.

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