Police Ready To Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks
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Despite fireworks being illegal in Illinois and Oak Lawn, some residents are already blowing off their personal arsenals purchased in Indiana and the worst is yet to come, according to some Patch readers.
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Readers’ comments on our guide to Southland fireworks shows and Oak Lawn Patch’s Facebook page ranged from stories of terrified pets and near misses from M80s to the “get off my lawn” types that claimed it was only “one day out of the year so deal with it.”
There is also the perception that local police don’t do enough to enforce fireworks bans because officers are too spread thin on July 4th checking to see if people are wearing their seatbelts or directing traffic after the professional fireworks shows.
Like many Illinois communities, Oak Lawn’s ordinance bans the sale, use and possession of any pyrotechnic, except for a fireworks exhibition licensed by the village (Chapter 4, Section 4-2). The ban applies to all combustibles and detonated devices except for items containing less than one-hundredths (0.20) of explosive mixture, such as caps, poppers, snakes and glowworms.
Those in violation of the Oak Lawn’s fireworks ordinance are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $500 to be decided by the village adjudicator.
Division Chief Michael Kaufmann of the Oak Lawn Police Department said that his force would respond to all noise complaints of excessive fireworks blasting over the Fourth of July holiday.
The problem in finding lawbreakers, Kaufmann said, is that “many times callers only give a general area and not a specific address.”
Oak Lawn police officers also have discretion on when to make an arrest, issue a citation or warning, Kaufmann said.
“All illegal fireworks will be confiscated,” he added.