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Peru police issue 3 fireworks citations, say illegal fireworks activity is down since crackdown

Police chief says illegal fireworks reduce the quality of life for other residents

Police Chief Doug Bernabei
Police Chief Doug Bernabei

The Peru Police Department issued three citations for illegal fireworks violations since Friday's announcement authorities would take a zero-tolerance approach to the use of illegal fireworks within the city.

Despite those citations, Police Chief Doug Bernabei said officers on patrol reported a reduction in the use of illegal fireworks and complaints from residents appeared to be down significantly.

"We really appreciate those who took heed to the crackdown announcement and chose not to use illegal products," Bernabei said in a press statement.

"There is no doubt that the use of illegal fireworks causes a quality of life issue to most residents particularly the very young and our elderly including our war veterans who after all are the very reason that we enjoy our independence. These illegal fireworks also cause harm to and frighten animals."

Citing the ordinance, Bernabei said Friday people will be guilty of disorderly conduct if, with the purpose of causing public danger, alarm, disorder, or nuisance, or knowing their conduct is likely to cause public danger, alarm, disorder or nuisance, they commit any of the following acts in a public place: making or causing "any loud, boisterous and/or unreasonable noise or disturbance to the annoyance of any other person nearby, or near to any public highway, road, street, lane, alley, park, square or common, whereby the public peace is broken or disturbed, or the traveling public is annoyed."

The penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine between $50 and $500 for each offense. The party also will be responsible for the city's cost of prosecution. Any person violating the ordinance may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to any property owner for damages or the costs of restoring property to its condition prior to its defacement, damage or destruction. Each day a violation occurs or continues will be considered a separate offense, according to the ordinance.

Bernabei said there are several vendors who are legally permitted under the law to sell novelty products under a "fireworks for sale banner." The businesses in Peru are properly licensed by both the state and city, are inspected by both state and local fire officials as well as random inspections. In addition, each year uncover police officers visit the locations.

Anyone with information on the sale of illegal fireworks can call the police at 815-223-2151 or alternatively can call the department's anonymous tip line at 815-223-1432.

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