Police issue few citations for fireworks despite high number of complaints

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – Johnson City Police said a juvenile was cited for reckless endangerment after throwing a ball type firework into a crowd at Freedom Hall on Tuesday night.

That’s one of just six citations issued for fireworks in Johnson City over the past four days.

But in Bristol, Virginia, no citations were issued for illegally shooting off fireworks on Tuesday despite many complaints.

Bristol, Virginia Police Department Captain Maynard Ratcliff says even though it’s illegal, it’s hard to keep everyone from shooting them off.

“If we had to stop and issue a citation to everyone who was shooting fireworks illegally on a holiday such as that, our officers would be so tied up doing that that we wouldn’t be able to answer our other calls here which could be emergencies,” Ratcliff said.

He says the city received a lot of complaints throughout the city, but no citations were issued.

“A lot of times we try to give people a warning the first time. We advise them of the law. Then if they refuse to obey the law then we usually issue citations,” he explained.

In Johnson City, 911 dispatch received 100 calls Tuesday night from people complaining about fireworks being shot off in neighborhoods.

But only six citations were issued from July 1-4 due to fireworks.

Sharon Adams lives in Johnson City. She said she does not see anything wrong with shooting off fireworks in neighborhoods as long as people are doing it safely.

“As far as my neighborhood and my neighbors, I’m good with it. It’s okay, it’s fun and it’s controlled,” she said.

Johnson City resident Jerry Miller agrees.

“Oh I really like them,” he said.

He said fireworks should be allowed, but with a limit.

“Up to three o’clock in the morning there are a lot of people who has to go to work the next day and they do need to quit doing it,” he said.

News Channel 11 also reached out to Bristol, Tennessee Police to find out how many citations were issued there, but has not heard back from them.

Kingsport Police would not release the information over the phone.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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