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Friday, May 6, 2016

Independence Day free of Memorial Day's troubles

Thursday, July 7, 2005

The number of arrests declined sharply over the Fourth of July weekend compared to the Memorial Day weekend a month ago, according to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

"It was a pretty good weekend," said Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger July 5 from the Fulton County jail. "Overall we didn't have that much trouble."

Over the holiday weekend law officers in Fulton County issued six DWI citations, two DUI citations, three public intoxication citations and five drinking in public tickets.

During Memorial Day weekend officers issued 41 DWI citations.

Dillinger said the Spring River, a hot spot for tourists and trouble, was unusually calm.

"There wasn't a whole lot going on down there," Dillinger said.

All seven of Fulton County deputies worked over the weekend including two reserves, he said.

Dillinger said the officers were visible on the sides of the roads and that cut down on the number of DWI tickets. He said he thinks the number of tourists in the area was about average for this time of year.

Officers from the Salem Police Department and the Arkansas State Police helped to patrol the county as well, Dillinger said.

Salem Police Chief Al Roork said there were few disturbances in Salem over the weekend, but he did have some trouble at the annual fireworks show at the Salem City Park.

"There was a lot of people out there and a lot of drinking going on," Roork said. "It's not something we're going to tolerate in public."

He said several people at the fireworks show shot off their own personal fireworks before the show started.

"It's not a good idea for people to bring their own fireworks to a professional pyrotechnics show," Roork said.

He said a few of the people shot fireworks at each other and some went into the crowd.

"And it wasn't just kids out there shooting each other," Roork said. "It was grownups who ought to know better."

No reports of injuries were filed and no arrests were made, Roork said.

Officers would have made arrests if they had more manpower at the scene, he said.

"It was hard to track people down through the crowds of people," Roork said.

Roork estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 people watched the fireworks show.

Roork, who also serves as the fire safety coordinator for Fulton County, said he was thankful that over an inch of rain fell in the county several hours before people began shooting fireworks.

"That saved us all some anxiety, I think," Roork said.

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