Fireworks Keeping Burlington Residents Up at Night

Fireworks Keeping Burlington Residents Up at Night

Police say it isn't as easy for them to enforce as you might think.

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Peter Wadsworth loves his neighborhood. He has just one complaint: Fireworks.

“It terrorizes kids, it terrorizes pets it means a lot of people around here aren't getting the sleep they need for work,” Wadsworth said.

Wadsworth says fireworks at 2 a.m. are common in the area around Loomis Street and he's making sure police are aware of it.

“Seems I'm calling the cops two, three times a week during the summer,” Wadsworth said.

Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling told councilors and residents at a community development meeting Friday that his department issues hundreds of noise ordinance tickets a year but fireworks can be hard to enforce.

“There's less we can do with that if the noise is gone when the officer arrives,” Schirling said.

City ordinance only allows police to ticket people who use fireworks in parks. Since they're illegal in Vermont police would have to issue a misdemeanor to someone caught using them elsewhere clogging up time in court for more serious crimes.

Wadsworth and his neighbors took the matter into their own hands recently confronting neighbors in one house where they believe fireworks had been originating from.

Wadsworth says some of the people he believes are responsible for the fireworks wouldn’t come out of their rooms to talk with the neighbors.

Councilors say they'll look at changing the existing ordinance and other officials say they have a plan to help that will be unveiled this fall.

“It will never be totally solved but we can make it something so that it happens once or twice a summer as opposed to every night all summer,” Wadsworth said.

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