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The Green Bay Police Department has safety and compliance tips ahead of the July 4th holiday

The Green Bay Police Department has safety and compliance tips ahead of the July 4th holiday

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The water has been calm this week and boaters are hoping it stays for the Independence Day holiday next week. As many of us prepare to celebrate, local agencies are doing the same with prevention and safety in mind.

Action 2 News donned a life jacket and joined the Green Bay Police Department’s Marine Unit, who are ready to patrol our waterways during the busy July 4th holiday.

Many boaters are expected on our waterways.

“The Green Bay Police Department wants people to be safe all summer long,” says Marine Unit Supervisor Lt. Jordan Atlas. “We patrol from Memorial Day to Labor Day.”

These boats might be 20 years old, but Atlas says don’t let that fool you. They are fully operational, basically like squad cars on waterways. They can respond to safety, rescue and enforcement operations.

Atlas says operators need to know their vessel, where life jackets are stored and how to call for help. Education before citations is the goal here, but something they won’t tolerate is recklessness

“If you’re going too fast, weaving between buoys or other boats, not passing with due care or immediately, those are things we take seriously,” says Atlas.

Boaters should also be aware of recent rains, as debris may be floating or semi-submerged.

“Any washouts, any additional dirt, dirt, rocks, downed trees will eventually go to our waterway,” Atlas says.

Now, from water to sky. Last year, Commander Kevin Warych says the city was called to 99 reports of illegal fireworks.

“In very simple terms, any fireworks that leave the ground are illegal,” says Warych. “We will respond, we will investigate. Our number one goal is compliance, we don’t want to give tickets.”

But they will if they need to, and it could cost you up to $1,000, and that’s not even mentioning the potential for damage.

“Green Bay Metro Fire responded to 15 fires this past Fourth of July season leading up to and then shortly after the Fourth,” says GBMFD Public Information Officer Lt. Shauna Walesh.

Walesh says eliminating legal fireworks should be the top priority.

“Sprinkle them with water, don’t throw them in the trash,” says Walesh. “Those fireworks can reignite and catch something on fire.”

Authorities will have extra staff on hand to do their part, but they’re asking you to do your part to have a safe Independence Day.