Fireworks were a low priority on New Year's

Is this the new normal? Fireworks started at 7 p.m. and continued through the evening on New Year's Eve. Some of the fireworks were extremely loud. It is very hard on our pets when it goes on so long. Could you find out whether the city is going to stop this from happening?

— Donna, Medford

New Year's Eve was a busy one for Medford police, Donna.

Police responded to fights, domestic violence, attempted murders, a shooting, a rape, an assault with a weapon and a stolen car. Police even had a death investigation, which turned out to be nothing but required some investigation.

Police Lt. Mike Budreau said officers also responded to complaints about fireworks, though there wasn't enough manpower to respond quickly to every call.

"It is frustrating," Budreau said. "We don't enjoy going to that many increased calls for service. It was a very busy night."

Officers are somewhat limited in what they can do to stop fireworks, largely because they have to witness the infraction to issue a citation, he said. When a patrol car rolls into a neighborhood, residents usually stop setting off fireworks.

A witness could ask officers to cite a neighbor, but most witnesses just want their neighbors to stop, not to be cited, he said.

Illegal fireworks in Oregon include mortars, bottle rockets, aerial spinners, sky rockets, missile rockets, roman candles and firecrackers. Cherry bombs, M80s and M100s are considered explosive devices.

Any firework that travels more than 6 feet horizontally or more than 12 inches vertically from the point of ignition is illegal.


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