SPD gives safety tips for Fourth of July

Published 7:59 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

The Fourth of July is nearly here, and the Selma Police Department has some helpful tips to keep everyone safe.

“If you’re going to be popping fireworks, you need to be supervised by adults, and you’re not supposed to pop fireworks inside the city limits,” said Lt. Tory Neely with the Selma Police Department. “You’ve got the possibility of injury with small children that are popping fireworks if they’re not supervised.”

Luckily, with all the rain that Selma and Dallas County has received over the last few weeks, the ground shouldn’t be too dry, which should help prevent fires, but they are still possible.

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“Generally, when you pop fireworks, what you should be concerned about is fires, but it’s good and wet fortunately right now because we’ve had a lot of rain,” Neely said.

A big concern for the officers on the holiday is people shooting into the air.

“We always encourage people not to shoot in the air and not to shoot anywhere,” Neely said. “If you’re going to be shooting, it needs to be on a firing range in a supervised type of situation.”

Neely said shooting into the air is dangerous, and people can be arrested for doing so.

“Just about three weeks ago, a gentleman stepped out the door at Valley Creek Homes and shot out the door … and that particular bullet went into the house a block down the street. Fortunately, no one was struck, but he was arrested for firing into an occupied dwelling.”

“There is a potential that you can be arrested and there is a potential that something could happen that you don’t anticipate happening that can go very wrong.”

Neely said to also be mindful of what to call in for.

“We ask that they not overwhelm our call center calling in with firework reports, but if they see someone that has a loaded firearm or something like that, they do need to call us so we can put extra patrol out in those areas,” he said.

Drinking and driving is also something to think about on any holiday as people celebrate.

“If you’re going to drink alcohol, have a designated driver. We ask that you do not get behind the wheel of an automobile and of course don’t handle any fire arms. We just ask that you drink moderately and have some common sense about it.”

The city of Selma will celebrate the Fourth at 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium with fireworks starting at dark. Valley Grande will have a firework show at 9 p.m. at Valley Grande City Park and Orrville with have festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m. with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. at the Orrville Community Center.

Overall, Neely said he and the department wishes everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.

“We wish everyone a happy Fourth of July, and all the visitors to Selma, we hope you enjoy your time here,” he said.