Omaha Police to dedicate officers to fireworks complaints

Omaha Police are dedicating officers to fireworks complaints
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 12:07 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Sure they’re loud and lavish, but homemade firework shows can also land you a hefty fine.

For those who just can’t seem to follow the rules this July 4 weekend, Omaha Police has a dedicated team fielding complaints.

“I’m trying to put my kid down to bed and I hear boom boom,” father Matthew Beck said.

Those who ignore Omaha’s firework ordinance and let off rounds of snaps cracks and blasts at all hours of the night.

“Follow the rules and be aware of the ordinance,” Officer Michael Pecha said. “Fireworks have been for sale for a couple days here in Omaha.”

But OPD knows the pyrotechnic problem starters aren’t exactly concerned about rules. It’s why they’ve dedicated a team of officers just to field complaints - no matter the time.

“Those late-night ones, midnight, 1 a.m., which at that point you’re disturbing the peace of trying to sleep.”

The separate hotline has been useful the last few years, allowing police to address fireworks-related calls without tying up 911.

Beck avoided it last year, but this go-round, his patience is wearing thin.

“I wanted to. I just don’t want to be a bad neighbor. I understand people are having fun. However, when your fun is encroaching upon other people’s liberty, that’s not okay with me.”

The ordinance is clear: If you’re 16 or older you can let off the mini-explosions from Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4 from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. Anyone younger needs adult supervision.

If police catch you breaking that rule, they’re handing out citations - not sympathy.

“Which then would involve either fine or a court appearance,” Pecha added.

The fines for disobeying the city’s fireworks ordinance can go up to $500.

Police say because it’s such a busy weekend, if you make a complaint you should be as specific as possible, so officers can prioritize the severity of the call.

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