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Extra public safety staffing expected for Fourth of July weekend

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Public safety officials are preparing for the Fourth of July holiday by adding patrols and keeping an eye out for traffic violations.

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Lt. Dwight Love of the Grand Forks Police Department said there will be around 14 to 18 extra officers on duty July 4, with some focused on the fireworks festivities downtown and traffic control afterward.

He also said the department will be working with other law enforcement agencies like the Minnesota State Patrol and East Grand Forks Police Department to enforce traffic laws on Gateway Drive this week, part of the “Click it or Ticket” campaign. According to the state patrol, 59 people were killed over the past 10 years over the July 4 holiday in car wrecks, with more than half attributed to alcohol-related crashes. 

Love said officers will be focused on DUI enforcement over the weekend as well.

“We’ve got a ton of people working, mostly in the downtown and north end area because that’s where the people are,” Love said.  

There were four DUI citations given out by Grand Forks police in both 2012 and 2013 during the three-day period of July 3 to July 5, according to Love.

“So nothing that’s too shocking,” Love said.

Kyle Steever, an officer with the East Grand Forks Police Department, said they’ll also have extra staffers on hand for the holiday. He said they see a general influx for calls for service on an array of issues during the weekend.

“So those guys are there to help with DUI enforcement and calls for service,” he said.  

Meanwhile, police will also be on the lookout for illegal use of fireworks.

City code prohibits the private use of fireworks within the city of Grand Forks, which doesn’t include small paper caps.

East Grand Forks residents are subject to the Minnesota law prohibiting certain types of fireworks.  

“The easy way to look at it is if it flies or goes bang, it’s illegal,” Steever said. “You can’t have it much less set it off.”

For a video on Grand Forks fireworks laws visit: bit.ly/1iWIxWd

For more information on what fireworks are legal in Minnesota, visit: bit.ly/1qRpE6M

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John Hageman
John Hageman covers local business and Grand Forks' legislative delegation. Get more business news at aroundtown.areavoices.com. 
(701) 780-1244
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