Lansing Tries New Effort Against Fireworks

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Living right next to a fireworks store has been a nightmare for some local residents. Late night booms and pops are becoming a common problem for neighbors and police. So common, Lansing Police announced Wednesday they're increasing enforcement to crack down on illegal fireworks.

According to ordinance, no fireworks are allowed to be shot off in Lansing unless it is the day before a national holiday, the day of, or the day after. Possessing fireworks is legal, as long as they are only fired on the days previously specified.

But not everyone is following the law. Those who live in the Old Everett Neighborhood say a nearby fireworks store has caused many headaches as of late.

"We're seeing a lot of fireworks go off at night, at 1 or 2 pm." said Charles Hoffmeyer, Old Everett Neighborhood Resident.

The store's signs say "no fireworks discharged within 300 feet," but Hoffmeyer says it's stopping no one. People are buying fireworks and shooting them off in the vacant lot next door. He's given up on calling the police.

"It's against city ordinance, but you feel that you don't want to disturb the police. They have bigger things to deal with." said Hoffmeyer.

Police want people to call, though they admit they're swamped. They're getting an average of 500 quality-of-life calls a day, this week.

"We simply cannot respond to every fireworks call. When we have a choice between a domestic assault or a fireworks complaint were going to choose the domestic assault." said Interim Chief Mike Yankowski.

In an effort to respond to a greater number of calls, Lansing's fire department has now paired up with police. Fireworks complaints will be split between the two starting Wednesday.

"You are going to see fire trucks and fire fighters going out, addressing those safety concerns, and making sure people are going to follow the ordinance," said Yankowski.

Mayor Virg Bernero said he's happy to see the fire and police department collaborating, but is upset at lawmakers. Bernero blames them for putting Lansing in tough situation by allowing fireworks.

"They created this problem for us, yet they're not sharing a dime of the money. They're collecting millions of dollars, and not a dime is being given so we can go out and enforce the law."

Fireworks will be allowed on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July, until midnight. Violation could result in a 500 dollar ticket.

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