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Police Ready for Residents Confusing Fireworks with Gunfire

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Des Moines Police say when it comes to fireworks on the Fourth of July, they rather be safe than sorry.

“We have people call us up, they think they`re hearing gunfire, and it turns out later its fireworks. We`ve also had it go the other way also where they think they hear fireworks and it turns out it`s gunfire. So we encourage the neighborhoods to contact us any time. We rather be called out there thinking that it`s gunfire and find out that it`s fireworks than not be called and find out later there actually was gunfire," said Police Sergeant Paul Parizek.

Those in residential neighborhoods say they get concerned over the booms and bangs they hear over the weekend.

"That`s why I don`t like the noise of them, because you never know anymore, seems like everyone`s got a gun. It`s kinda scary for someone my age I can`t run very fast!" said resident Beverly Burkett.

However, not everyone is against hearing their neighbors launch fireworks from their backyard.

"It isn`t the noise that bothers me, what really bothers me about the fireworks deal is that we cant get the law passed to make it legal here in Iowa, so we can keep that money here in Iowa instead of taking a chance going down to the line down in Missouri where it is legal. It could be used for different things; it could be used for schooling so it would be an economic impact on us," said MLK Neighborhood Association member Odell Jenkins.

Shooting off fireworks is illegal in Iowa so police recommend against it.

"This is something that’s best left to the professionals. There are plenty of opportunities over the next few days in the metro and the suburbs to go out and see fireworks. It’s a lot safer that way," said Sgt. Parizek.

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