Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like peanut butter and jelly, but in most metro cities, they’re illegal. That includes Overland Park, Kansas.
On the Fourth of July there is a significant increase in calls due to fireworks. The city has a no tolerance policy and sends out special units to respond to firework calls.
41 Action News rode along with Officer John Batley with the Overland Park Police Department as he responded to dozens of fireworks calls. Upon arrival, many of the suspected offenders denied any wrongdoing or were gone all together.
Batley says they issue citations but it's rare because they have to catch offenders in the act.
“If it’s not too busy, we can investigate or talk to neighbors, but if it’s a normal Fourth of July, we are so busy going call to call that it’s unlikely that we see them doing it," Batley said.
According to the National Council on Fireworks Safety, the number of Americans planning to use backyard fireworks this year expected to hit an all-time high.
The NCFS has seen an increase in injuries among young people that have used fireworks in videos to impress their friends or post to social media sites.
The NCFS and Overland Park police want parents to be vigilant in making sure that their children are safe this Fourth of July.
Starting at 6 p.m., Overland Park police will have their special unit deployed specifically for fireworks.
Lisa Benson can be reached at email@example.com.