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City confiscates illegal fireworks

Marysville Police Officer Ray Riches displays some of the illegal fireworks that were confiscated in the city in the wake of this year’s Fourth of July. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Police Officer Ray Riches displays some of the illegal fireworks that were confiscated in the city in the wake of this year’s Fourth of July.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Even days after the Fourth of July festivities had wrapped up, the city of Marysville still has to clean up after those who choose to celebrate the occasion illegally.

Marysville Police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux explained that the illegal fireworks confiscated by officers — enough to fill an entire secure storage locker for hazardous materials at the Marysville Police Station — will need to be destroyed by the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad.

“Besides our regular patrol officers being on the lookout, we have an additional three officers on patrol for three days before and three days after the Fourth of July,” said Lamoureux, who deemed this year’s 224 fireworks complaints from citizens to be an average number. “That amount of overtime adds up quickly, and while the exact total cost of our attempts to prevent and respond to illegal fireworks is difficult to quantify, it is significant.”

In the wake of the Fourth of July, Lamoureux reminded Marysville residents that fireworks of any kind, whether they’re legal during the Fourth of July or not, are now illegal again.

“Setting off any kinds of fireworks, between now and the next Fourth of July, could result in anything from a civil infraction ticket to a criminal citation,” Lamoureux said.

Lamoureux noted that, while many members of the Marysville community enjoy lighting fireworks as a way of celebrating the holiday and America’s history, just as many are set on edge by their neighbors’ fireworks, which some Marysville residents light as early as a week before the Fourth of July, or as late as a week after, according to Lamoureux.

“We’re trying to balance education with enforcement,” said Lamoureux, who reiterated that fireworks should only be lit on the day of the Fourth of July itself. “This issue is polarizing within the community, and it can lead to the perception that this problem is out of control, but in my opinion, the majority of people in this town do follow the rules. If you want to light legal fireworks safely during a family barbecue on the Fourth of July, that’s great. The problem comes from the minority of people who buy illegal fireworks and bring them into town, but those are the ones we have to talk about, because they’re the ones costing the city money and putting others at risk.”

 

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