Dubuque Police Department addresses increase in firework complaints

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 10:34 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Getting a good night’s rest is becoming an issue in Danielle Kinkade’s home.

”Every night, from about 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. in the morning, they are setting off the big fireworks, you know, the ones that shake the entire building,” she said.

But this is not only affecting Danielle, but her 12-year-old autistic son as well.

”It triggers him to the point where he is screaming and shaking; his heart beat is rapid-going like 500 miles a minute,” she said. “He is just curled-up in my lap crying, asking why they will not stop.”

Right now she is just asking for a little bit of empathy.

”I just want to let people know to consider other people, not just their own self-enjoyment for the holidays,” she said.

However, Danielle is not the only one tired of the sound of fireworks every single night and the Dubuque Police Department is well aware of that.

Lieutenant Ted McClimon said the number of complaints regarding fireworks increased over the weekend.

“We had a large amount and then we went back and looked and, compared to last year, the numbers are substantially higher,” he said.

Dubuque has a city ordinance that allows people to possess fireworks, but not discharge them.

“Officers will have discretion over whether someone is charged or the fireworks are taken, but if they are charged it is a $250 fine,” he said.

Because of the many complaints, the Police Department will be assigning staff specifically to respond and enforce these calls.

”The reason for us adding staff is, like I said, the safety concerns, but also quality of life for the people it is bothering, like those with PTSD, the children, those trying to sleep at night, animals,” he mentioned. “It is a big quality of life thing.”

But he agrees with Danielle. Even though the department recognizes people want to have fun, McClimon said, at the end of the day, it is all about empathy.

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