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Eastpointe, Roseville police report increase in fireworks violations this year

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 2, 2020

 Law enforcement officials have seen an increase in fireworks-related offenses this year.

Law enforcement officials have seen an increase in fireworks-related offenses this year.

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Police departments across the state have responded to calls regarding the improper use of fireworks since the law changed in 2012 to allow larger and louder consumer fireworks.

“We always receive a lot of fireworks complaints even more this time of year. This has been a chronic problem long before the state legalized fireworks,” Roseville Chief of Police Ryan Monroe said in an email.

However, both the Eastpointe and Roseville police departments are reporting dramatic increases in the number of fireworks-related complaints and citations this year.

“The fireworks complaints are through the roof just like other communities,” Eastpointe Director of Public Safety George Rouhib wrote in an email. “We are looking at amending our ordinance to reduce the number of days of ignition. We are doing our best investigating the complaints. Our officers were instructed to cite any offenders. I believe as of last week, they cited a dozen people. If a resident has a complaint and can identify a person or home, they have to call us rather than complain on social media. We are also going to pay overtime so an officer can respond to nothing but firework complaints.”

“From May 1 through June 29, 2020, we have responded to 150 fireworks complaints,” Eastpointe Deputy Chief Eric Keiser added in an email. “During that same time period in 2019, we received 23 fireworks complaints.

Those who observe fireworks being set off in an improper or dangerous manner are encouraged to contact their respective department immediately.

“If someone calls in a complaint we will dispatch an officer ASAP,” Monroe stated. “We need as specific a location as possible. A general area makes it very difficult for us to find the violator. An address and/or description is vital. We can only issue a citation if we see the individual or have some other way of proving they are responsible.”

The Roseville police can be reached by calling (586) 447-4475.

“If a citizen observes someone igniting fireworks in violation of the ordinance, we encourage them to call our dispatch center (586-777-6700) for non-emergencies (e.g. fireworks after the allowed time or on a day fireworks are prohibited) or 9-1-1 for emergencies (e.g. fireworks being launched at people, pets, or homes),” Kesier stated in an email.

In Eastpointe, the law states a person shall not ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks at any time on non-national holidays or between midnight and 8 a.m. on the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday, or between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Applicable holidays include New Year’s Day, Jan. 1; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January; Presidents Day, the third Monday in February; Memorial Day, the last Monday in May; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, the first Monday in September; Columbus Day, the second Monday in October; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November; and Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Minors are not allowed to possess consumer fireworks and police may confiscate fireworks as evidence of a violation. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 plus the cost of prosecution.

In Roseville, the law states that people can only ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks, or aid or abet in, permit, or allow the ignition, discharge, or use of consumer fireworks on the following days after 11 a.m.: on Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1; on the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days; from June 29 to July 4 until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days; on July 5, if that day is a Friday or Saturday, until 11:45 p.m.; or on the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days.

Violators can be charged a civil fine of up to $1,000 for each violation. A person may not ignite, discharge, or use consumer fireworks on public property, school property, church property or the property of another person without that organization’s or person’s express permission to use those fireworks on those premises, and fireworks cannot be used under the influence of liquor or a controlled substance.

Law enforcement officials ask that people obey these laws for safety and in consideration for their neighbors.

“We ask our residents to respect their neighbors and ignite fireworks only during the permitted times,” wrote Keiser. “Pets are fearful of the fireworks and it is difficult to get up for work if your sleep is disrupted by fireworks. Based on the number of complaints we have received; we will have extra officers on duty over the next week to enforce the fireworks ordinance.”