Troup 911 sees higher call volume for fireworks

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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With the July 4 holiday falling on Tuesday this year, many have taken the opportunity to start the party early as evidenced by the snaps, pops and booms heard over the weekend.

Troup 911 Director Shannon McLaughlin said they have already received a few fireworks complaints over the weekend. She said they have had at least six 911 calls relating to over the weekend. The number could be more because some of the fireworks calls have different designations, including a fire at Mallard Lake Apartments that was caused by fireworks.

McLaughlin said sometimes people will call in fireworks they’ve witnessed. Other times people will call in gunshot complaints that turn out to be fireworks.

“They complain because of the noise. They complain because they’re shooting them in the street or sometimes they complain because they’re shooting in the direction of a house or a car,” McLaughlin said.

LaGrange city ordinance prohibits shooting fireworks outside the hours of 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. except for certain holidays, including Independence Day, but the exception doesn’t start until July 3.

For July 3 and July 4, fireworks are legal from 10 a.m. until midnight.

McLaughlin said they receive fireworks complaints regardless of the hour or day.

“It doesn’t matter what time, honestly,” McLaughlin said. “They call during the day, they call during the night, they call after ten. On the Fourth of July, they’re going to call after midnight and they’re going to call before midnight.”

McLaughlin confirmed that people setting off fireworks puts extra stress on the system.

“Police, everything, our call volume goes up. I had to bring in extra people to work,” McLaughlin said.

About half of the calls were within the allowed hours to set off fireworks. McLaughlin said these calls are usually about fireworks being shot from the street or at things but not always. Sometimes they are just noise complaints.

McLaughlin said she believes most of the allowed-hours complaints are generated because of juveniles setting off fireworks without their parents watching them.

“On the Fourth, that’s when we will get more calls saying they’re shooting guns or shooting fireworks, and they will not know the difference,” McLaughlin said.

It’s important to remember that the extended hours for fireworks do not extend past July 4, so setting off those leftover fireworks after 9 p.m. could earn a ticket.

“I’m afraid if it rains, of course, it’s going to go on week for sure,” McLaughlin said.