‘If it explodes or it goes up in the air, it is illegal’: Yates explains to aldermen how QPD will handle fireworks issue

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Quincy Police Chief Adam Yates said fountains, snakes, poppers and sparklers are fine, but bottle rockets, M80s and mortars are illegal. If a Quincy Police Department officer catches someone with fireworks, that person will receive a $500 ticket. | pexels.com

QUINCY — Adam Yates, chief of the Quincy Police Department, says his officers will enforce a simple rule about fireworks in Quincy during the July 4 holiday.

“If it explodes or it goes up in the air, it is illegal in the state of Illinois,” Yates told aldermen at the end of Monday’s Quincy City Council meeting at the Quincy Public Library.

Yates was asked to explain how the Quincy Police Department will address situations involving fireworks in the next week.

“The temptation to drive across the river and purchase fireworks and bring them back into the city of Quincy is very tough for some people to disregard,” he said.

Yates said fountains, snakes, poppers and sparklers are fine. However, bottle rockets, M80s and mortars are illegal. If a Quincy Police Department officer catches someone with fireworks, that person will receive a $500 ticket.

“Fireworks are a quality-of-life issue for the residents of Quincy on two specific fronts,” Yates said. “They scare individuals, and they wreak havoc on animals. So at 10 o’clock at night when you’re shooting mortars off in your backyard, all your neighbors’ dogs are not having a great time. Therefore your neighbors are struggling with that. It comes down to just being respectful of your neighbors.”

Yates also cautioned people that, despite recent rain, the ground is dry.

“When folks are setting off fireworks in their backyard, and they’re not paying attention, we end up lighting a bush or a yard or a field on fire, and that fire is probably going to go somewhere,” he said. “We don’t want to lose somebody’s house because we want to break the law and shoot fireworks. Certainly, there’s a liability that goes along with that.”

Yates said calls about fireworks complaints are a low priority for officers. He said between 75 and 90 percent of the calls the Quincy Police Department receives about fireworks are from people who don’t want to identify themselves.

“If you want something done about someone who’s shooting fireworks in your neighborhood, and you’re willing to be an active participant in the investigation and a witness in court, we’d be more than happy to work with you on that,” he said. “I always suggest to people maybe get a real short video on your phone of the activity that’s going on, and then call us and meet with us. Say you want to be a witness and you want something done.

“The officer will write a ticket, and then you and the officer, if it goes to court, will show up at the same time, and you’ll testify to the case. That’s really what we have as far as our ability to deter people from breaking that particular city ordinance.”

In other action, aldermen:

  • Approved a special event application for the Quincy to Peoria St. Jude Run requesting closure of the west half of Parking Lot F on Vermont between Fourth and Fifth and several other city streets on July 17-19.
  • Permitted Quincy Notre Dame High School to conduct a raffle and have the bond
  • requirement waived from Aug. 1 through June 30, 2025. 
  • Waived the nightclub liquor ordinance to allow Instant Replay, 2739 Chestnut, to open at
  • 9 a.m. on July 13. 
  • Approved a revocable permit for encroachment of city right-of-way from the Lincoln-Douglas Museum requesting permission to affix a double-sided directional sign on a street light pole on the north edge of the Lincoln-Douglas Plaza in Washington Park. 
  • Approved a special permit to allow for the construction of three two-family residential dwellings (duplexes) at 201-203 Locust, 205 Locust and 1616 N. Second.
  • Approved Mayor Mike Troup’s reappointment of Rick Ehrhart to the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation Commission.
  • Approved buying one LIFEPAK 1000 training AED and four new LIFEPAK 1000 automated external defibrillators and related accessories from Stryker in Redmond, Wash., for $13,567.23.
  • Awarded a contract to AC Environmental, Inc., of Wilsonville for $8,250 to complete asbestos abatement at 632 N. Sixth.
  • Authorizing demolition, through the city’s Fix or Flatten Program, of 632–634 N. Sixth. The bid was awarded to H & D Construction of Mendon for $35,000.
  • Adopted an ordinance leasing a half-acre gravel lot owned by the city of Quincy to the Rocky Point Club, 3603 Bonansinga Drive. The agreement is for 15 years at an annual rate of $10.
  • Adopted an ordinance authorizing an ingress/egress easement to the previous lease to allow access to the neighboring property owned by Steve Bush through the property leased to Rocky Point Club.

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