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Police didn't do job with fireworks

You probably noticed an article in The Post two weeks ago (June 28) which communicated the Sandy Police Department's plan for combating the annoyance of illegal fireworks and warned potential pyros of the consequences of shooting off that Roman candle or M-80.

A hefty fine or possible jail time would make most people think twice before making that trip to Vancouver for illegal fireworks.

According to Police Chief Harold Skelton, the police department's vow to crack down on illegal fireworks use (at the request of the city council) hampered many citizens from purchasing and/or using the devices. It scared some from participating in that illegal activity.

The problem is, the police didn't deliver on their end of the bargain.

This year's Sandy Fourth of July fireworks show was another success, with families gathering at the high school football field for about 25 minutes of exciting, professional pyrotechnics. While hundreds enjoyed the free event, it obviously wasn't enough bang for some.

Adjacent to the field and around the city, illegal fireworks were lighting up the Sandy sky. Granted, on two separate occasions police officers confiscated illegal fireworks. But if you live in Sandy, you know there were more than just two households participating in these unlawful activities.

It's safe to say dozens and dozens of these illegal fireworks exploded within the city limits. How many citations did officers write? How many people took a trip to the Clackamas County Jail? Zero.

Officers say that the crowd control pressures of the city event and other, more serious calls prevented them from enforcing their own crackdown. Domestic calls, drunk drivers and traffic control indeed are important, but by now it's becoming very clear that illegal fireworks use isn't limited to just one day of the year. Many of us have endured late-night pops and booms outside our windows since mid-June and are enduring it still. We find it hard to believe that police can't find the time to issue one citation, if for no other reason than to make an example out of those people and make good on their city council-inspired promise.

Three houses burned down in Cascadia Village over the weekend. Many neighbors think it was because of some illegal fireworks that were being used in the area several hours before firefighters arrived at the massive blaze. That dangerous situation drives home - better than anything we could say - the importance of the police following through with their crackdown threats.

While Sandy police would like to believe that the appearance of a crackdown is going to prevent people from using illegal fireworks, we all know better. It seems the problem will only get worse if offenders believe nobody's watching.