Police crack down on illegal fireworks usage

9:57 PM, Jun 30, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) - A number of cities and counties ban fireworks, but this year police are taking extra steps to make sure you're following the rules. Officers in St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Lake St. Louis and Creve Coeur are all stepping up their fireworks patrols in the coming days.

If you live in any of those areas and you're caught shooting off fireworks, you can expect a hefty fine. In St. Louis County, for example, it could range from 50 to a thousand dollars.

Officers in many of those communities with bans are already out on patrol for fireworks users. And it's basically a zero-tolerance situation for all those departments.

On Monday, St. Peters will start a special enforcement. The department will work extra officers on every shift that will be specifically looking for people shooting off fireworks.

O'Fallon city spokesman Tom Drabelle says his police department is taking this crackdown seriously.

"When you look at what's going on with the drought and the heat, the danger level for people shooting off fireworks at their house is more significant than it's ever been," said Drabelle. "And we're really asking people to use common sense this year. Don't do it because it's illegal, but really don't do it because this year more than ever it's not safe. It's incredibly dangerous and you're going to put your lives your property and your neighbor's property at risk when you're shooting them off."

Drabelle says the fireworks ban in O'Fallon is something the citizens have asked for because they're usually more of a nuisance than a safety issue. But the heat, dry weather and the wind just magnify the importance of the ban.

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