If you were in Oak Cliff Saturday night, your neighborhood probably sounded like a war zone.
Fourth of July is one of a few holidays in Oak Cliff that results in neighbors popping off enormous amounts of fireworks. You don’t really need to go see the show at Fair Park if you live on a street where some guy spends hundreds of dollars on a fireworks display every year.
It’s kind of a tradition.
Problem is, fireworks are illegal within the city limits of Dallas. And many Oak Cliff neighbors are over the reckless tradition, which they say the Dallas Police all but ignores.
Deputy Chief Santos Cadena of the Southwest Patrol Division says officers respond to fireworks complaints among all their other calls. A Saturday night in July is always busy for police, he says. Add that it’s a holiday, and it makes for an intense night.
One Oak Cliff neighborhood takes preemptive measures to curb the all-night pop-pop-pop. Two years ago, the North Cliff Neighborhood Association started distributing flyers to neighbors, informing everyone prior to Fourth of July that fireworks are illegal and could result in a $2,000 fine. Besides that, the flyer states, shooting fireworks and happy bullets is discourteous to one’s neighbors.
“I think it’s helped tremendously,” neighborhood association president Kim Bachelor says.
Of course, it hasn’t stopped the scofflaws, but there are fewer, she says.
Answering fireworks complaints is not always a priority for police, Cadena says. But the Dallas Police Department did confiscate more than half a ton of fireworks throughout the city this year.