Crackdowns make for calmer 4th in Lewiston area


LEWISTON - Police departments in the region that took a no-nonsense approach to illegal fireworks this Fourth of July said the policy was a success in keeping their communities safe.

Lewiston police Lt. Michael Pedersen said officers saw far fewer incidents involving illegal fireworks Thursday night than in previous years.

Lewiston police responded to a total of 42 fireworks calls Thursday - including violations officers saw while on patrol - and issued approximately six citations, he said.

"It was much calmer than last year," he said. "People knew what was going on. Some said they didn't, but I know they did. Some of the issues we had last year (with illegal fireworks), we didn't have."

Lewiston police had extra officers working during the holiday to enforce the city's fireworks ordinance, which was revised last year to ban all aerial and explosive fireworks within the city limits. Officers also confiscated a number of illegal fireworks and gave several verbal warnings, Pedersen said.

Orofino also cracked down on illegal fireworks this year, and Police Chief Jeff Wilson said it paid off.

"We advertised it very well," he said. "In years past, it's been pretty bad. There were very few calls for service this year."

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