HOUSTON If fireworks are legal in your community and a neighbor is shooting them off late at night, you can call your sheriff s department, or the constable in your precinct, but the call may not receive high-priority status, according to officials in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

If an officer is available to respond to your call, chances are, the offender will receive a verbal warning, according to authorities.

Some residents have filed complaints and even those who have not, like Rosa Clay, have noticed the noise.

It can get loud, especially the ones that have 100 times and they go, pow, pow, pow for about 10 minutes, she said.

Sometimes I think they may not be fireworks, may be gunshots, Barbara Brume, a Harris County resident, said.

There s all kinds of huge explosives going on and it probably goes on until one, one or two (in the morning), said Cherie Cross, a Harris County resident.

Chief Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct Four said his office hears the same complaints every year. He said they patrol subdivisions and deputies talk with those setting off the fireworks, asking them to be courteous to their neighbors.

However, he said, on the actual 4th, officers cut fireworks-lovers some slack unless they re being completely reckless and dangerous.

Cross said she does not want to get the law involved.

I don t want to get anybody in trouble because they re kids, she said.

Still, she said, the noise does a number on her dog.

Our dog gets really nervous. He s a Chihuahua mix and he cannot take fireworks, or any kind of explosive noises, so he s freaked out totally, she said.

Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery County authorities said they typically get lots of calls the night before the 4th of July. If the offenders are being ridiculously reckless and noisy, they said they could get a ticket for disturbing the peace. That carries a $500 fine.

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