Fireworks complaints up more than 1,000% in Memphis this year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police say they are getting hundreds of calls about fireworks being set off illegally.

Memphis police report that between April 1 and June 29 this year, they received 963 complaints about fireworks. The same time last year, just 86 complaints. That’s a 1,020% increase.

In Shelby County, complaints went from just four last year to 69 complaints between June 18 and 23 this year.

Not only are county officials getting complaints of the usage of fireworks, they are also getting complaints about guns being fired in the air, said Capt. Anthony Buckner with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. “That’s especially dangerous,” he said.

Fireworks are illegal in Memphis and Shelby County if you don’t have a permit. But that hasn’t stopped many people from firing the off ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

A viewer caught bottle rockets being fired near Beale Street and Riverside Drive.

MPD says they respond to those complaints according to priority. This weekend they will have increased patrols and extra officers in the downtown area, and will issue a citation if needed.

Buckner said deputies will be out this weekend responding to calls. He said they will issue warnings and even citations if needed.

“We just ask people to explore other safe ways to celebrate the Fourth of July,” Buckner said.

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