This year’s Fourth of July in Renton meant lots of fireworks, for the Police Department.
“We just simply haven’t seen this amount before,” acting Renton Police Chief Ed Van Valey said at the meeting.
Renton Police Department and Renton Regional Fire Authority confiscated 600 pounds of fireworks this year, at a street value of $8,000.
This was five times more than last year’s amount of fireworks. Fire Department Chief Rick Marshall said this was the first year where the city has a zero-tolerance plan.
They felt there had been enough time passed since voters approved the initiative banning fireworks from Renton city limits.
“We owe it to our communities to get fireworks out of the hands of people who are using them,” Marshall said.
The city purchased a steel container to give the fireworks legal and safe housing.
Port of Seattle bomb squad has offered to destroy the confiscated fireworks free of charge this year, something Marshall said is a win-win for the Bomb Squad that gets to “practice” destroying explosives, and the city of Renton, since disposing of the fireworks would be expensive.
“There’s always room for improvement, but this year was by far the best year for coordination,” Marshall said.
From July 4 to 3 a.m. on July 5, they received 146 firework complaint calls, most of which they were unable to locate the sounds callers were concerned with. But most callers agreed it was a quieter year for fireworks.
Four citations and 26 warnings were issued from those calls, with one citation, the first call, resulting in a little volatile interaction with a resident who refused to give up their fireworks, according to Van Valey.