watching fireworks


35 People Issued $500 Tickets For Fireworks Violations In Warren

July 06, 2018 - 11:13 am

WARREN (WWJ) - Dozens of residents have been ticketed for the illegal use of fireworks all across metro Detroit. 

In Warren, Police Chief William Dwyer, as of Thursday night, 35 people had been issued $500 tickets for various fireworks violations, which is a big jump from last year when only seven citations were issued during the 4th of July week.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, who joined police on fireworks patrols, said many offenders claimed to be unaware of the city's rules, which include no fireworks set off in the street, within 30 feet of any building, by minors, or by those under the influence of alcohol. 

"Glad to get mostly positive feedback regarding our effort to keep the city relatively safe on the 4th," the mayor wrote in a Facebook post. "Some that I met were very critical last night but most were appreciative."

Fouts said police patrolling in South Warren on July 4th ended up in a "somewhat tense situation" after finding a street blocked with fireworks and furniture. Fouts said tickets were issued to several people who were "angry and clearly intoxicated."

While the sale and use of fireworks is allowed under Michigan law, municipalities are free to impose their own restrictions. 

Fouts, who has openly criticized state law, says some have suggested a petition drive to change it, but that would be "pretty difficult to do."

"Most people welcomed what we did and I got calls from all over the metro area wanting my help next year," Fouts added, with the goal being "to eliminate the war zone climate on some city streets."

Many responding on social media appeared to support the mayors' efforts. 

"Wish every city and township had people as dedicated," Darcie Sanders DiBasio said. "It isn't just about noise: it's about safety. Since the fireworks manufacturing lobbyists got the law changed in many states to allow people to buy previously illegal, bigger fireworks, the fireworks injury rate went through the roof. You may have prevented quite a few injuries.

Further east in Roseville, Police Chief James Berlin said dispatch in his city could barely keep up with all the fireworks complaints; while in Dearborn, Chief Ronald Haddad said fireworks ticketing was up as well. 

In neighboring Detroit, resident Diane Williams saw plenty of fireworks activity.

"I think there was a lot," she told WWJ's Charlie Langton. "I heard a lot, I saw a lot -- coming from all over places. Not one specific place, but yeah, I think the city was on fire!"