Fireworks Complaints Swamp Police

MASON -- We're still weeks away from the Fourth of July, but some people's ears are already ringing. 

Fireworks are disturbing families in some neighborhoods, and they want police to intervene. Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth says intervening is tougher than it sounds. 

"The closer we get to the Fourth of July the worse it's going to get," said Wriggelsworth.

Wriggelsworth says the volume of complaints about fireworks has been getting worse in the past week. 

"We get the calls all night long about fireworks going off."

He says it's tough to catch the perpetrators. They're often long gone by the time deputies get there. The sheriff adds that these calls distract them from more important situations.

"You get these quality of life complaints and then you have a robbery, murder, or terrible accident and you're tied up."

Fireworks dealers have started to set up shops for the holiday, making it easier for anyone to get their hands on the product. The owner of World Class Fireworks on S. Cedar St. admits that fireworks are noisy, but says he tries to talk to his customers about properly using the fireworks.

"I tell my customers to check with their local ordinances before they go off shooting any fireworks," said John Hetzer, Owner of World Class Fireworks.

Local governments have the final say in allowing fireworks, or not, in their jurisdiction. 

Lansing has a noise ordinance that prohibits fireworks after 10 p.m. 

East Lansing doesn't allow fireworks at all, unless it's the day before a federal holiday, the day of, or the day after.

But even when the police do catch someone shooting fireworks where it's not allowed, there's not much that they can do.

"It's a misdemeanor, insignificant, like getting a traffic ticket," said Wriggelsworth.

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