There were 183 complaint calls and 270 ShotSpotter reports of fireworks in Peoria between July 3rd and 5th. The city deployed 76 percent of its eligible police officers to work during that time. Yet the department issued only eight tickets.
Police Chief Jerry Mitchell told the city council Tuesday night it is difficult to cite individuals with firework violations. “We have to be certain that the party responsible can be held accountable. So we actually have to catch them either in possession or somehow show ownership that they were responsible for the firework.”
Mitchell says they will make three changes next year to better address the use of illegal pyrotechnics. There will be electronic boards advising against their use. Twenty officers will be on patrol exclusively for the illegal fireworks. And there will be more communication with neighborhood groups.