SF Police On Fireworks Enforcement: ‘People are definitely calling in more this year.’

Sioux Falls Police are making a push this 4th of July to crackdown on illegal firework activity. They’ve already responded to hundreds of fireworks calls and as nighttime falls they say it will only get worse.

“They don’t want to hear fireworks, some of them, so that’s why they’re calling us,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Matt Wolfe.

Wolfe says on the 3rd and 4th they typically take only a few fireworks calls during the daytime hours.

“So right now we have one fireworks call holding.” Wolfe said, “That 8 to 9 o’clock time it definitely picks up in call volume for fireworks.”

At one point on Sunday night, police had around 200 pending calls.

“People are definitely calling in more this year,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe says he thinks people are more aware this year.

“Anything that goes up in the air and goes bang is going to be illegal in the city,” said Wolfe. “So sparklers, the snappers, all the boring stuff you can play with inside the city. If you want to go outside the city, you can shoot the bigger stuff off.”

While there’s been a bigger push for officers to hand out fireworks tickets, that doesn’t mean it’s their main priority.

“You just take it as you can,” said Wolfe. “There’s a lot more that goes on than just fireworks, obviously family disputes when people start drinking, and then fights happen things like that.”

It’s more likely that Wolfe will respond to this…

Wolfe said to one man on a call, “Hey, wake up for me.”

It was only mid-afternoon, when he responded to someone passed out on the sidewalk. His Preliminary Breath Test: a .35.

“Take a deep breath and blow for me,” Wolfe said to the man.

At .4, he would have been taken to the hospital.

“Where am I (the PBT) at,” asked the man. Wolfe responded,”It’s still counting man, it’s going up.”

While not under arrest, the man was given a ride downtown to sober up, just one of the many calls Wolfe will take on Independence Day.

The fine for lighting off illegal fireworks in Sioux Falls is $95. It’s even costlier if you’re caught littering in the city. That ticket can run you $175. If you have a fireworks complaint police are asking that you call their non-emergency line at (605) 367-7000.