Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Residents will have three week days in July to discharge fireworks for Independence Day festivities, if a proposal by Gardner’s Citizens Police Advisory Committee is approved by the city council.
The committee voted 3-0 March 25 to allow residents to shoot fireworks on July 3-5 between 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Members present at the meeting were: Danedri Herbert, Kacy Dale, and Carrie Wilson.
Since July 4th falls on a Thursday this year, committee members believed that allowing residents to shoot fireworks through the weekend would lead to a four-five day period of fireworks-related noise.
Danedri Herbert, committee member, said that she knows families with special needs kids, veterans and pets who would all be affected by the noise.
“I wouldn’t vote for four days,” she said. “I know a lot of people may disagree. It’s like a tyranny of the majority.”
Jim Pruetting, police chief, said since people start shooting the fireworks the day before July 4th, he does not see a need to extend the period to the weekend.
Also during the meeting, Rich Melton, council member, briefed the committee on a recent active shooter drill held at Wheatridge Middle School.
Melton, who volunteered as the active shooter during the drill, said he found the exercise very intense and useful in preparing police and first responders for an emergency situation.
“We should do them more often,” he said.
He said he took some lessons from the drill – including a need to update building identities at the school district so that officers would not be confused as they responded to an emergency.
Pruetting said that the drills help officers know how the buildings are set up because during an emergency it is easy to get confused and disoriented.
Pruetting updated the committee on progress on the construction of the Justice Center.
The Justice Center located on the corner of 167th and Moonlight is scheduled to be opened later this summer.
“It is on budget and on time,” Pruetting said.