South Portland police planning fireworks crackdown during holiday

Posted July 03, 2012, at 5:34 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — With Wednesday marking the first Fourth of July since fireworks were legalized in Maine, police are cautioning folks to use them legally.

The city of South Portland has banned fireworks despite the change in state law to allow their sale, according to police Lt. Frank Clark.

He said in a release that “the use of fireworks in a densely populated area such as South Portland is a public safety concern.”

The city has investigated 104 fireworks complaints since January, including a whopping 67 in June alone, according to Clark. Only 13 complaints were investigated during the first half of 2011.

Those who attempt to possess, use or sell fireworks in South Portland could be fined at least $200 and up to $1,000 and face jail time, Clark said. He said local police will deploy plainclothes officers to try to catch perpetrators in the act during the July Fourth holiday.

State law also prohibits people under the age of 21 from purchasing, using or possessing fireworks, with fines ranging from $200 to $600.