Boosted patrols poised to defuse any illegal fireworks

Discharge allowed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., July 4 only

If it goes up or blows up in the city of Auburn, it’s illegal.

That basic rule has not changed since City leaders wrote it into law nearly 10 years ago.

Still, a wee reminder from Auburn Police about fireworks in the city cannot hurt.

Discharge of legal fireworks is allowed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., July 4 only. Discharge is also allowed from 6 p.m., to 1 a.m. on Dec. 31, on Jan. 1.

This year the APD has increased enforcement on possession and-or discharge of illegal fireworks – fireworks that are not safe and sane – and on children using fireworks without adult supervision. To buy legal fireworks, a person must be at least 16 years old.

On June 26, police began a 5 p.m. through 11 p.m., city-wide emphasis, which remains in effect through July 4.

In addition to the usual staffing levels for 911 calls, from 2 p.m. July 4 to 2 a.m. July 5, the APD will field up to 16 officers in eight vehicles throughout Auburn, each directed to respond to fireworks-related calls for service and seek out the discharging of illegal fireworks in neighborhoods. Two 2-person patrol cars will keep an eye on city parks.

“We’ll have six officers and a sergeant assigned just to the area of the Muckleshoot fireworks stands during the day,” said Auburn Police Cmdr. Mark Callier, adding that in addition, four traffic officers and a sergeant will work SR164 to ensure a decent traffic flow. The stands should close at 2 a.m.

The APD has assigned seven officers, a sergeant and four bike officers to watch over the July 4 celebration at Les Gove Park.

The Auburn Police Department will cite those unlawfully using fireworks, with a possible fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Those recklessly discharging fireworks risk up to a $5,000 fine and a year in jail. Anyone caught in possession of a device containing more than 2 grains of pyrotechnic charge — such as an M80 — may be charged with a felony, punishable up to 20 years in prison.

Not only will officers issue criminal citations to scofflaws,, they’ll take their illegal fireworks, too.

Residents can help the City with this stepped-up emphasis by calling the police non-emergency number at 253-288-2121 when fireworks are illegally discharged in their neighborhoods.

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