Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DCist reports that Fireworks Ban introduced by Jim Graham

You can read the article here.


Anonymous said...

Perusing various listservs, I found the following responses to the fireworks discussion from Muriel Bowser and Captain Burton of the MPD 4D

from Bowser:
Yesterday, I stood with the Fire Dept, MPD, ATF and the US Atty to emphasize the City's zero tolerance for illegal fireworks. The Fire Marshal indicated that 4 of the 68 stands had been shut down and Fire officials would continue to aggressively check stands for compliance. They have confiscated a substanial amount of illegal explosives.

The larger issue as you note is if publicly held and used fireworks make sense for our city, which I'll be looking into immediately.

Muriel Bowser
Ward 4 Councilmember
Council of the District of Columbia

She'll be "LOOKING INTO" it?? what a politician!

From Captain Burton:

I have reviewed the calls for service for the 4th of July, in particular those calls dealing with fireworks complaints. I found that the volume of calls for that day was 60% greater than on a typical day. The Fourth District logged more than 330 calls for service between noon on the 4th and 6 am on the 5th. Of those calls almost half, 154, were for disorderly complaints. The numbers of disorderly calls were 5 times the number we have on a typical day. The vast majority of those complaints came between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. During that time frame officers were responding to as many as 25 fireworks complaints an hour in addition to a large number of priority calls for service.
After talking to the officers and officials that working during that
time, I found that everyone was aware of the community's concerns about fireworks. Each member patrolling was advised to give great attention to seizing and stopping illegal fireworks displays. Because of the sheer volume of calls during this time officer were not able to be proactive in their approach to dealing with the fireworks complaints. The majority of their time was spent responding to and dealing with disorderly complaints, family disturbances and other priority calls.
Because of the number of concerns that we received this year on the
response to fireworks complaints we have taking a look at our plans for next year. We will be dedicating more resources to seeking out and removing as many illegal fireworks from the street as we can well before the holiday. We will also be assigning addition manpower to the time frame that experiences the greatest number of calls, between 9 pm and 4 am. We will also assign a squad of officers with the specific task of
> responding to and dealing with fireworks complaints during that time in order to free up the regular patrol officer to respond to priority complaints. I feel that this strategy will help to address the community concerns about fireworks. Thank you.
> Hilton B. Burton

oden said...

Jim Graham and The Bowser can't catch me!

'Course I'll be the only 40 year old in the streets with 10 year olds, so that might be a giveaway. PoP will probably rat me out for wearing my Indians cap.

Michael said...

Go Tribe!

And I think this is all over-reaction. The home grown fireworks displays on the 4th were fun, exciting, beautiful and give the community character. Less fear and more love people.

Pauper of Petworth said...

ugh...go tribe?...when i take my seat in hell, that seat is going to be in cleveland...or somewhere in texas

Anonymous said...

Oden - nah, the over 40 husband and I and a number of our similarly aged friends will be out there setting off our fireworks too. Now, the Indians cap, that's a problem, but I'd be happy to buy you a Nats hat.

I saw Grahams's press release, and wrote to Bowser and Graham to speak against it. Exchange pasted below - and I agree, what a politician:

I said:
"Councilmember Bowser:

I understand that Jim Graham has introduced legislation to ban
fireworks within the District of Columbia. I strongly urge you to
vote against this bill.

This is another example of proposing a law when we already have a perfectly good law on the books. There is no need for more unenforced law. There is a need for enforcement of the current law.

The fireworks currently permitted in DC are safe and many people
(myself included) enjoy small neighborhood fireworks displays. While there are certainly people who use illegal and dangerous fireworks, please note that those fireworks are already illegal. The solution to the problem of illegal fireworks in our neighborhoods is not to pass a law banning all fireworks, even the small and safe ones, but to enforce the current law.

Don't restrict the rights of the law-abiding because some people are
breaking the law. Rather, insist on enforcement of existing law.

Thank you."

And she replied:
"Thank you for letting me know of your concerns. I have alerted my staff to see where this legislation is and whether it will be going forward. Thank you again for your concern."

You would think that had she been at the council meeting, she would have known where it is.


Anonymous said...