Wichita police and fire teaming up to enforce firework laws

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For many people, fireworks are the highlight the Fourth of July.

"Just seeing the kids light up. I like to light them, but I like to see the kids light them...they get excited," says Wichitan, Bert Gilchrist.

Gilchrist bought two bags of fireworks to shoot off Wednesday night, but they were mostly small like sparklers, which are legal in Wichita. 

"I think there's a fine line, and it's all for the children, for safety. I don't want nobody hurt," says Gilchrist.

Fireworks that produce sparks any more than six feet are illegal in the city, but in surrounding areas, the laws are different. That's why the Wichita Police Department is teaming up with the Fire Department again this year to write tickets for illegal firework use. This is the second year for the enforcement. 

"We ended up having teams out, and we wrote about 140 citations during the time frame, and that was pretty successful considering the year before, we wrote zero citations," says Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis.

Bevis says this city is making some changes this year, adding an extra officer to each team. 

"We had where crowds were crowding in, we had were one of our fire officers was assaulted with a roman candle and got hit in the head," says Bevis.

Law enforcement asks you not to call 911 if you have a firework complaint. Instead, call 316-290-1011. The line will be open through July 6th.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.


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