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Ripon police receive 21 calls, 2 cited for illegal fireworks
Though some people hosted their own Safe and Sane displays of fireworks in the city, there were also some large, colorful fireworks displays that filled the night sky on Friday, July 4. The region saw some professionally done shows, including one at Mistlin Sports Park in nearby Ripon and another at Woodward Reservoir, just outside Oakdale. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Leader

The City of Ripon was without an official Fourth of July fireworks show.

But that’s not to say that folks didn’t celebrate Independence Day with a bang.

Police Chief Ed Ormonde said at Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting that his department received 21 calls related to reports of use of illegal fireworks during a seven-day stretch ending on the day after the Fourth.

“Of that, 19 calls were received on July 4 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.,” he noted.

That’s nearly double from a year ago when police received 12 calls on this matter.

In all, Ormonde said that two citations were issued including one on the actual Fourth — the unused fireworks were confiscated — and another on Friday, July 5.

“It was difficult to pinpoint where the fireworks were coming from,” he said on the other reports.

In each case, the police response time was about three minutes upon receiving the call with each of the seven officers on duty during the Fourth of July spending about five to 15 minutes at the scene, according to Ormonde.

The fireworks season kicked off on June 28 with the opening of the legal TNT and Phantom Fireworks booths serving as major fundraisers for the non-profits and service organizations in town.

Councilman Dean Uecker is optimistic that the city-wide fireworks show will return to Ripon next year — he mentioned a group that’s very interested in taking over the fundraising efforts held previously by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce and, prior to that, the City of Ripon.