GLADSTONE, Mo - Busted! Not a great start to the holiday weekend for families across the metro as police crack down on illegal backyard firework displays.
It's against the law to light fireworks at home in many cities including Olathe, Gladstone and even Kansas City, Missouri. And police departments are cracking down and sending extra officers into neighborhoods to keep the pyrotechnics to a minimum.
One of those departments is Gladstone, and FOX 4 rode along with an officer for the red white and blue bust.
"Fireworks are part of the 4th of July just like candy for Halloween," said Gladstone Police officer Brandon Sherman.
An American tradition that is hard for people to shake, and no matter what the law says Sherman says year after year people find a way to light them.
"People still want to do it, try to pop some off real quick and go back inside," said Sherman
But this year, it's his job to make sure he catches them.
"Most the time I'll drive with my driver side window down so I can hear," said Sherman.
The department recently created a zero tolerance policy when it comes to lighting fireworks at home. If you own, sell or light them in the city of Gladstone you're getting a ticket no questions asked.
"I think the citizens in Gladstone know we are pretty tight on the fireworks law here. Not generally a whole lot but we do get calls for them," said Sherman.
But sure enough as we rode through a neighborhood with Sherman we heard the loud pop of a firework—and Officer Sherman approached the family.
"City of Gladstone, zero tolerance for fireworks ok?" Sherman said.
"City of Gladstone is zero tolerance?" A family member asked.
"Yes that's how it works."
The family claimed to not know anything about the policy. They might have e kicked their holiday weekend off with a bang but it's also starting with a ticket.
Officers want the city to know, if you do the same, you will be fined.
"No warnings, it's all zero tolerance."
Gladstone police have ready collected a trash can full of fireworks this year. They will hand those off to the Kansas City Bomb Squad.
As for anyone who violates this law, you'll be looking at a fine that will be determined by a judge.