Police prepared for busy Fourth of July holiday in West Plains, Mo.

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 4:44 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - As of Wednesday in West Plains, only one fireworks stand is open. Two others plan to open Thursday Another plans to open Friday, because they’ve had trouble finding workers to help them put up their tent.

In a normal year, the fireworks stands would have opened several days ago. A shortage of fireworks and problems finding help is leading to delays.

As the fireworks stands get ready for a busy couple of weeks, area law enforcement knows they’re about to get really busy, too.

Officer Paul Bradshaw with the West Plains police said fireworks safety is not his main concern this time of year.

“We have a lot more traffic compliance because of people coming into town, people leaving and going places for the holiday,” said Bradshaw. “We have a lot of drunk drivers and stuff like that. People love to go out to the rivers and drink and party and then of course they come back home, and that’s when you start having those problems.”

Officer Bradshaw said the city will have three or four officers on duty on the Fourth of July for the city of 12,000. Worrying about people’s noise complaints will be the least of their concerns, so don’t expect them to show up if you call with a complaint.

Officer Bradshaw says in the past, he’s responded to a lot of domestic disputes during the holidays.

“Usually every holiday season, or holiday peak, we’ll have more domestics,” he said, “because you have people that will come in for family gatherings, people like to drink at family gatherings, and then from that, they fight, they bring up old stuff.”

Meanwhile, back at the fireworks stand, the staff says to expect to pay more for fireworks this year. A lot more, on certain items.

“I know my family usually spends anywhere from $500 to $1,000 on fireworks because we like to go out with a big bang,” said Shelbi Lung, a customer at a West Plains fireworks stand.

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