The Twin Falls Police Department stepped up education and enforcement of the City of Twin Falls’ newly revised fireworks ordinance over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday. The increased activity was in response to concerns from citizens about safety and property damage caused by illegal fireworks.
Police issued almost 60 citations between July 3 and July 4, a significant increase compared to the previous year when police issued one citation.
The increase in enforcement followed a one-month campaign to educate the community about the City’s fireworks ordinance, which was revised to include specific times and days to use fireworks considered to be Safe and Sane. The Twin Falls City Council heard from constituents about the growing prevalence of illegal fireworks being used at inappropriate hours and directed the City to address the issue.
In addition to citations, Twin Falls police confiscated hundreds of dollars worth of illegal fireworks that were purchased in surrounding counties. The Twin Falls Police Department’s bomb squad disposed of the confiscated fireworks.
Idaho law allows vendors to sell fireworks that are illegal to use in the city limits. Many vendors require that buyers sign a form, which states that they will not use them in Idaho. Population growth and the increased availability of more powerful fireworks have raised concern among citizens of Twin Falls, who asked the Twin Falls City Council to intervene.
From June 1 through July 8, Twin Falls Police Department’s emergency dispatch received more than 200 calls from citizens citing noise disturbances associated with fireworks.
“Our primary concern is the safety of our citizens, so we will continue to educate the community about safe and legal fireworks and enforce the City ordinance,” said Greg Lanting, City of Twin Falls Mayor. “We expect that it will take time before the revised ordinance has an impact, but it is something we are committed to maintaining.”