Englewood will enforce fireworks ban

Posted 6/16/11

Englewood Police Cmdr. Sam Watson said officers will enforce the city ordinance that prohibits setting off any type of fireworks, including …

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Englewood will enforce fireworks ban

Posted

Englewood Police Cmdr. Sam Watson said officers will enforce the city ordinance that prohibits setting off any type of fireworks, including sparklers.

“Englewood police take fireworks violations seriously,” Watson said. “Officers respond to investigate all fireworks complaints. When time permits when our officers are on patrol and hear fireworks going off, they will investigate and try to locate the persons setting them off.”

Estimates are last year Englewood police responded to 150 to 175 fireworks complaints.

Watson said fireworks violations can result in a warning or the violator can be issued a summons requiring an appearance in municipal court for violating the city ordinance. In either case, the police will confiscate the fireworks.

If the case goes to municipal court, violating the city’s fireworks ban violation is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Individuals who enjoy fireworks are reminded a free 20-minute fireworks will be set off about 9:30 p.m. July 4 and will be visible from Cornerstone and Belleview parks located near the intersection of South Windermere Street and West Belleview Avenue. The fireworks are the culmination of a wide variety of activities set up to celebrate July 4.

Police officials agree that part of the problem with enforcing a municipal fireworks ban is there are fireworks stands set up around the metro area.

While most municipalities in the Denver metro area have fireworks bans similar to Englewood’s law, that isn’t the case in unincorporated Arapahoe County. That makes it possible for stands to set up and sell fireworks. For example, there is a tent stand that usually sets up every year on the South Santa Fe Drive frontage road. Also, nearby states have no fireworks bans, so the state-prohibited fireworks are a short drive away.

For years, agencies have urged the Legislature to act to enable counties to ban the sale of fireworks but that hasn’t happened.

Paula Cranston approves of the city’s crackdown on people setting off fireworks.

“I don’t like fireworks. If they are set off nearby, the startle me and they scare my two dogs,” the Englewood resident said. “I think fireworks around houses are a nuisance because they set them off weeks before and after July 4 and at all hours of the night. I wish it would stop.”

But Chris Farnsworth, a self-proclaimed fireworks lover, thinks the ban is wrong.

“I definitely don’t agree setting off fireworks should be banned by the city,” the Englewood man said. “Our family always used to celebrate July 4 by setting off tons of firework in our backyard. I still buy tons of fireworks every year and set them off. But, since I can’t set them off here, we go out to my parents’ farm, where we can have our fun without having the cops breathing down our necks.”

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