JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Even with an ordinance banning the practice of shooting fireworks in city limits, Jonesboro police still responded to hundreds of complaints on Independence Day.
"Second shift specifically was very busy and that is from 2-11 p.m.," said Paul Holmes, public information specialist with JPD. "Dispatched answered 300 calls."
Out of 300 calls, police were not able to cite anyone.
"It is a difficult thing to respond to," said Holmes. "Some of them were repeated calls from several neighborhoods and with the weather being rainy, that also caused an issue."
Holmes said the main issue is located where exactly the fireworks were shot, and who did it.
"Someone will be shooting fireworks and a neighbor would complain, but by the time the cops get there, it's over," said Holmes. "Once they see a cop car in the neighborhood, they will stop, go in the backyard, or just wait until the car leaves and start back up again and then the neighbors will call again with another complaint."
Holmes said this difficult situation made for a frustrating night for officers.
"Obviously, the ordinance says no shooting fireworks," said Holmes. "That rule is there for fire and personal safety. Luckily no firework-related injuries were reported but still, it's something that every officer knows will run them ragged and that is exactly what happened this week."
Holmes said it is best to follow city law but those who don't need to find a better way of asking for change.
"You can either buy the fireworks and shoot them at your own risk or you can prevail on the city government to modify the law in some way," said Holmes. "If you feel the ordinance is outdated or should be modified, talk to city council members. That is what they are there for."
Though they were unable to cite anyone for breaking the rules, Holmes wants to warn everyone if you are caught, you could face a fine up to $500.
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