A problem-solving approach to neighborhood fireworks

It's that time of year when neighborhoods throughout the Quad Cities are besieged by fireworks and social media is full of commentary on it. Local police departments post messages about safety recommendations and laws, while Quad Citizens post complaints about late-night explosions at all hours of the night. Some of those complaining suggest police should get involved, which often generates this response - "don't you think police have better things to do?"

I propose a solution that will make all sides happy: a Quad City Fireworks Enforcement Group. Here's how it works:

First, each QC police department has at least one additional third shift officer on duty June 15 to July 4 (or a few day afterwards), an officer that only handles fireworks complaints.

Second, funding for the "Fireworks Enforcement Group" is paid through an additional tax on fireworks sales and through fines levied to those in violation of the fireworks laws.

This plan solves the problem on all sides. Law enforcement can enforce the laws and maintain public safety without additional expenses, peace and quiet will be restored to QC neighborhoods, and it addresses concerns that "police have better things to do" - the extra officer(s), paid for by user fees and fines, allows the normal amount of officers to focus on "better things" than fireworks enforcement.

Plus, police can get a head start on enforcement and generating revenue by looking on social media for those saying police have better things to do and going to those houses first because obviously those are the people who are shooting off the fireworks for three weeks before the Fourth!

I'm a problem solver.

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