The Ripon Police Department will be out in force, looking out for those using illegal fireworks as the Fourth of July nears.
That’s according to Chief Ed Ormonde at last week’s Ripon City Council meeting.
While TNT and Phantom fireworks have been legally sold here for years, benefitting greatly the various non-profit organizations, the illegal fireworks are prohibited regardless of the time of the year.
The safe and sane are OK to be fired off but only that week before and the day after the Fourth.
The Ripon City Council amended the fireworks ordinance in early 2016, in turn, providing police and the Ripon Consolidated Fire District officials with the authority to cite those who unlawfully discharge fireworks of any kind.
The citation is a misdemeanor violation. But anyone convicted of this infraction could be looking at paying a fine not to exceed $250.
At the June 13 meeting, Councilman Leo Zuber asked Ormonde if all of the firework fines from last year were resolved.
“Not all (cases) were resolved – some did not appear while others have gone out to warrant,” he answered.
Some of the violators were subjected to doing community service.
Fireworks are described in the ordinance as “any device containing chemical elements and chemical compounds capable of burning independently of the oxygen of the atmosphere and producing audible, visual, mechanical or thermal effects.”
Changes were necessary to this law after elected leaders received numerous complaints on the excessive use of fireworks, in particular, the illegal ones, during and the days after the Fourth of July.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.